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Hackensack, NJ
A 81-year-old female asked:

What is the prognosis for papillary thyroid cancer that spread to the lungs? i read it is normally not more than 5 years survival rate? is that true?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Ekizian
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Variable: The rate of survival in patients with papillary thyroid cancer with distant metastases is variable. Considering patients with small lung metastases but no other spread outside of the neck, the 10-year survival rate is roughly 30 to 50 percent. Higher survival rates have been reported in patients whose pulmonary mets were detected only by radioiodine imaging. Being over 80 hurts your prognosis.
Dr. Lauren Stegman
Radiation Oncology 27 years experience
It depends: It depends on many factors with age being one of the most important. Patients less than 45 yo have an excellent prognosis with many surviving decades (50% 20 yr survival) and almost all surviving longer than 5 yrs. With appropriate treatment. A lot depends on how well the tumors respond to radioiodine. The prognosis for older patients is worse but still can be optimistic with 50% living 10 yrs.
Dr. Myron Arlen
Surgical Oncology 64 years experience
May be better: In stage IV thyroid cancer with spread to lung, treatment may consist of surgery, radioactive iodine, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments . Combining two or more of approaches is important for increasing a’ chance of cure and prolonging survival. Treatment with radioactive iodine does improve survival with thyroid cancer that has spread to nodes as well as lung.

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Last updated Mar 23, 2021

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