Staging anaplastic thyroid cancer helps physicians assess the extent of the disease, create an optimal treatment plan and determine a prognosis that is as accurate as possible. Like most other cancers, anaplastic thyroid cancer uses the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM staging system to stage malignancies from 1 to 4, with 4 being the most severe.
How is anaplastic thyroid cancer staged?
The staging process for anaplastic thyroid cancer differs from that of other, more common thyroid malignancies. Anaplastic thyroid cancer is a uniquely aggressive disease that spreads quickly. Because of this, all diagnosed patients are considered to have stage 4 cancer. To differentiate among localized and metastasized (widespread) cancers within this stage, the following criteria are used:
- Stage 4A – The cancer is confined to the thyroid or has not spread to nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage 4B – The cancer has spread around the thyroid or to nearby lymph nodes, but not to distant sites.
- Stage 4C – The tumor is very large or the cancer has spread to distant areas of the body.
Our approach to anaplastic thyroid cancer staging and treatment
Swift analysis is key when it comes to diagnosing and treating aggressive diseases like anaplastic thyroid cancer. At Moffitt Cancer Center’s Thyroid Clinic, we emphasize prompt evaluation and treatment for our patients.
If you are displaying symptoms of thyroid cancer or would like to consult a Moffitt oncologist about an anaplastic thyroid cancer diagnosis, call 1-888-663-3488 or fill out a new patient registration form online. A referral is not necessary to visit Moffitt.