Thyroid cancer survival rate


Thyroid cancer is a fairly rare cancer that, when discovered early, is one of the most treatable and curable cancers known to modern medicine. Even when it isn't discovered until later stages, it is still very treatable and survivable.

In the United States, it is estimated that over 44,000 new cases of thyroid cancer will be diagnosed in a given year among all races and genders, and that about 1,600 people will die from thyroid cancer in that same year.

The disease is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 45 and 54, with that age group representing about one quarter of all diagnoses. People between the ages of 35 and 44 represent about one fifth of all diagnoses and are the second most common age group for thyroid cancer.


The median age of death for thyroid cancer is 74 years of age, with people between 65 and 74 representing over 30 percent, the highest percentage of deaths from thyroid cancer for all age groups.

Thyroid cancer survival rates by stage

When found in early-stage, thyroid cancer is highly survivable; like any other cancer, as the stage goes up, the survival rates go down, although comparatively speaking, the survival rates in thyroid cancer are extremely high. The following lists the extent to which the cancer is known to have spread, followed by what's known as a 5-year survival relative percentage—this figure represents the number of people expected to be alive 5 years after being diagnosed at each disease stage:

  • -- Localized disease: 99.8%
  • -- Regional disease: 96.9%
  • -- Metastatic disease: 56.4%
  • -- Stage unknown: 87.6%

As one can see, when thyroid cancer is discovered in early stages, the chances of surviving the disease and being considered 'cured' are extremely good—as high as 99.8%. Even when the disease is not caught until it has metastasized, the 5 year survival rate is over 50%.


National Cancer Institute SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Thyroid Cancer


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