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Survival

Find out about survival for thyroid cancer.

Survival depends on many different factors. It depends on your individual condition, type of cancer, treatment and level of fitness. So no one can tell you exactly how long you will live. 

These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. Remember, they can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).

You can also talk about this with the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Survival for different types of thyroid cancer

There are UK wide statistics available for thyroid cancer survival. 

The survival statistics below are from a large European study. They are based on people treated between 2000 and 2007. Treatments improve over time, so people treated now may have a better outlook. 

With thyroid cancer, the most important factor that affects survival is the type of thyroid cancer you have.

Around 90 out of 100 men (around 90%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Around 95 out of 100 women (around 95%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Around 90 out of 100 men (90%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Around 90 out of 100 women (90%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Around 75 out of 100 men (75%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Around 90 out of 100 women (90%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Around 10 out of 100 men (10%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Around 10 out of 100 women (10%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Survival for all types and stages of thyroid cancer

No UK-wide survival statistics are available for all types and stages of thyroid cancer.

The following statistics are from the Office for National Statistics. They are for people diagnosed between 2010 and 2014.

For all people diagnosed with thyroid cancer in England

  • almost 90 out of 100 (almost 90%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis

What affects survival

Your outcome depends on the stage of the thyroid cancer when it was diagnosed. This means how big it is and whether it has spread.

The type and grade of thyroid cancer also affects your likely survival. Grade means how abnormal the cells look under the microscope.

Your likely survival is also affected by your age. Survival is better in younger men and women.

Your likely survival is also affected if you have other medical conditions that might influence the treatment you can have.

About these statistics

The terms 1 year survival and 5 year survival don't mean that you will only live for 1 or 5 years. They relate to the number of people who are still alive 1 year or 5 years after their diagnosis of cancer.

Some people live much longer than 5 years.

Last reviewed: 
20 Jul 2018
  • Survival of 86,690 patients with thyroid cancer: A population-based study in 29 European countries from EUROCARE-5

    L Dal Maso and others

    European Journal of Cancer (May 2017) Volume 77, pages 140 - 152

  • All data related to Cancer survival in England: Patients diagnosed between 2010 and 2014 and followed up to 2015

    Cancer survival in England - adults diagnosed​ (accessed July 2018)

    Office of National Statistics

  • Cancer Research UK Statistics
    Accessed July 2018

     

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