Types of Thyroid Cancer

Overview

There are different types of thyroid cancer. They are based on what the cells look like under a microscope. Your treatment will depend on which type of thyroid cancer you have.

These include:

  • Papillary thyroid cancer. This is the most common type of thyroid cancer. It's often only found in one lobe of the thyroid.
  • Follicular thyroid cancer. It's found more often in countries where people don't get enough iodine from food.
  • Hürthle cell cancer. This is a much less common type. It tends to spread to the lymph nodes in the neck.
  • Medullary thyroid cancer. This isn't very common. One type occurs mostly in adults. The other type is inherited and often develops during early childhood.
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer. This is very rare. It's a very aggressive cancer that grows rapidly and is almost always fatal.

Other cancers that can start in the thyroid include lymphoma and sarcoma.

Credits

Current as of: September 8, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Matthew I. Kim MD - Endocrinology