Learn About Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer

What is the definition of Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer?

Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer of the thyroid gland.

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What are the alternative names for Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer?

Anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid

What are the causes of Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer?

Anaplastic thyroid cancer is an invasive type of thyroid cancer that grows very rapidly. It occurs most often in people over age 60. It is more common in females than in males. The cause is unknown.

Anaplastic cancer accounts for only about less than 1% of all thyroid cancers in the United States.

What are the symptoms of Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer?

Symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness or changing voice
  • Loud breathing
  • Lower neck lump, which often grows quickly
  • Pain
  • Vocal cord paralysis
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
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What are the current treatments for Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer?

This type of cancer cannot be cured by surgery. Complete removal of the thyroid gland does not prolong the lives of people who have this type of cancer.

Surgery combined with radiation therapy and chemotherapy may have a significant benefit.

Surgery to place a tube in the throat to help with breathing (tracheostomy) or in the stomach to help with eating (gastrostomy) may be needed during treatment.

For some people, enrolling in a clinical trial of new thyroid cancer treatments based on the genetic changes in the tumor may be an option.

Who are the top Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
26
conditions
Endocrinology
Pediatrics

University of Texas System

Physicians Referral Service

1515 Holcombe Blvd 
Houston, TX 77030

Steven Waguespack is an Endocrinologist and a Pediatrics doctor in Houston, Texas. Dr. Waguespack has been practicing medicine for over 28 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer. He is also highly rated in 26 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Thyroid Cancer, Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma, Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer, and Papillary Thyroid Cancer. He is licensed to treat patients in Texas. Dr. Waguespack is currently accepting new patients.

Elite
Highly rated in
34
conditions
Otolaryngology

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

1275 York Ave 
New York, NY 10065

Ian Ganly is an Otolaryngologist in New York, New York. Dr. Ganly has been practicing medicine for over 33 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer. He is also highly rated in 34 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Thyroid Cancer, Tongue Cancer, Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer, and Salivary Gland Tumors. He is licensed to treat patients in New York. Dr. Ganly is currently accepting new patients.

 
 
 
 
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Elite
Highly rated in
22
conditions
Otolaryngology
General Surgery

University of Texas System

Physicians Referral Service

1515 Holcombe Blvd Unit 1445 
Houston, TX 77030

Mark Zafereo is an Otolaryngologist and a General Surgeon in Houston, Texas. Dr. Zafereo has been practicing medicine for over 17 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer. He is also highly rated in 22 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Thyroid Cancer, Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer, Papillary Thyroid Cancer, and Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma. He is licensed to treat patients in Texas. Dr. Zafereo is currently accepting new patients.

What are the support groups for Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer?

You can often ease the stress of illness by joining a support group of people sharing common experiences and problems.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer?

The outlook with this disease is poor. Most people do not survive longer than 6 months because the disease is aggressive and there is a lack of effective treatment options.

What are the possible complications of Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer?

Complications may include:

  • Spread of tumor within the neck
  • Metastasis (spread) of cancer to other body tissues or organs
When should I contact a medical professional for Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer?

Call your health care provider if you notice:

  • A persistent lump or mass in the neck
  • Hoarseness or changes in your voice
  • Cough or coughing up blood
Thyroid cancer - CT scan
Thyroid gland
What are the latest Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Clinical Trials?
Cholesterol Metabolites (Dendrogenin A or DDA, 6-oxo-cholestane-3β,5α-diol or OCDO,...) Quantification in Malignant Versus Normal Human Thyroid Tissue Refractory to Iodine
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Designing a Decision Aid to Help People With Medullary Thyroid Cancer Make Decisions With Their Doctors About Whether to Start or Stop New Drugs, Enroll in Clinical Trials, or Continue With Active Surveillance
What are the Latest Advances for Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer?
First-in-Human Experience With 177Lu-DOTAGA.(SA.FAPi)2 Therapy in an Uncommon Case of Aggressive Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma Clinically Mimicking as Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer.
Efficacy and safety of larotrectinib in patients with TRK fusion-positive thyroid carcinoma.
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Clinico-radiological features of brain metastases from thyroid cancer.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : January 21, 2020
Published By : Robert Hurd, MD, Professor of Endocrinology and Health Care Ethics, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Iyer PC, Dadu R, Ferrarotto R, et al. Real-world experience with targeted therapy for the treatment of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. Thyroid. 2018; 28(1):79-87. PMID: 29161986 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29161986/.

Jonklaas J, Cooper DS. Thyroid. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 213.

National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research website. Anaplastic thyroid cancer. www.cancer.gov/pediatric-adult-rare-tumor/rare-tumors/rare-endocrine-tumor/anaplastic-thyroid-cancer. Updated February 27, 2019. Accessed February 1, 2020.

Smallridge RC, Ain KB, Asa SL, et al. American Thyroid Association guidelines for management of patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer. Thyroid. 2012;22(11):1104-1139. PMID: 23130564 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23130564/.

Smith PW, Hanks LR, Salomone LJ, Hanks JB. Thyroid. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2017:chap 36.