Anaplastic thyroid cancer

Alternative Names

Anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid

Definition of Anaplastic thyroid cancer

Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer of the thyroid gland.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Anaplastic thyroid cancer grows very rapidly and is an invasive type of . It occurs most often in people over age 60. The cause is unknown.

Signs and tests

A physical examination almost always show a neck mass.

Treatment

This type of cancer cannot be cured by surgery. For most patients, complete removal of the thyroid gland does not prolong their life.

Expectations (prognosis)

The prognosis of this disease is poor. Most people do not survive longer than 6 months due to the aggressive nature of this disease and lack of effective treatment options.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/2/2010

Thyroid cancer - CT scan
Thyroid gland

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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