Thyroid cancer – papillary carcinoma

Alternative Names

Papillary carcinoma of the thyroid

Definition of Thyroid cancer – papillary carcinoma

Papillary carcinoma of the thyroid is the most common cancer of the thyroid gland.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

About 80% of all thyroid cancers diagnosed in the United States are papillary carcinoma type. It is more common in women than in men. It may occur in childhood, but is most often seen in adults around the age of 45.


Thyroid cancer usually begins as a small lump (nodule) in the thyroid gland, which is located at the center part of the front of the neck.

Signs and tests

If you have a lump on your thyroid, your doctor will order blood tests and possibly an of the thyroid gland.


There are three types of thyroid cancer treatment:

Expectations (prognosis)

The survival rate for papillary thyroid cancer is excellent. More than 95% of adults with such cancer survive at least 10 years. The prognosis is better for patients younger than 40 and for those with smaller tumors.


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

Endocrine glands
Thyroid cancer - CT scan
Thyroid cancer - CT scan
Thyroid enlargement - scintiscan
Thyroid gland

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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