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This year, an estimated 60,220 adults (14,910 men and 45,310 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It is estimated that 1,850 deaths (810 men and 1,040 women) from this disease will occur this year. Thyroid cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women. The incidence rates of thyroid cancer in both women and men have been increasing in recent years, and researchers are working to figure out why.
The five-year survival rate (the percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is detected, excluding those who die from other diseases) for all stages of thyroid cancer is about 98%. The five-year relative survival rate for papillary and follicular thyroid cancers that have not spread outside the thyroid and MTC is about 100%. For cancer that has spread to the regional lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate is, 97%. The five-year survival rate for cancer that has spread outside the thyroid to other parts of the body is 54% (see Staging). Anaplastic thyroid cancer is associated with a much lower survival rate.
Cancer survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. These estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of cancer in the United States each year, but the actual risk for a particular individual may differ. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with thyroid cancer. Because the survival statistics are measured in five-year intervals, they may not represent advances made in the treatment or diagnosis of this cancer. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2013.