Survival for thyroid cancer

Survival depends on many factors. No one can tell you exactly how long you will live.

These are general statistics based on large groups of people. 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 all types and stages of thyroid cancer

These statistics are for people diagnosed with thyroid cancer in England between 2013 and 2017. There are some differences between men and women:

1 year survival

  • 90 out of every 100 men (90%) survive thyroid cancer for at least 1 year after diagnosis
  • More than 90 out of every 100 women (more than 90%) survive thyroid cancer for at least 1 year after diagnosis

5 year survival

  • Almost 85 out of every 100 men (almost 85%) survive thyroid cancer for at least 5 years
  • 90 out of every 100 women (90%) survive thyroid cancer for at least 5 years after diagnosis

10 year survival

  • Around 85 out of every 100 people (around 85%) survive their cancer for 10 years or more after diagnosis

Survival for different types of thyroid cancer

The survival statistics below are from a large European study. They are based on people treated in the UK and Ireland 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 and stage of thyroid cancer you have.

More than 85 out of every 100 men (more than 85%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

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

Around 85 out of every 100 men (around 85%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

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

Almost 70 out of every 100 men (almost 70%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

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

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

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

What affects survival?

Your outlook depends on the type and stage of your thyroid cancer when it’s diagnosed. Stage means how big it is and whether it has spread. The outcome is usually better when the cancer is at an early stage.  

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

If you have other medical conditions, this might influence the treatment you can have. It might also affect your likely survival.

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.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and researchers collect information. They watch what happens to people with cancer in the years after their diagnosis. 5 years is a common time point to measure survival. But some people live much longer than this.

5 year survival is the number of people who have not died from their cancer within 5 years after diagnosis.

Last reviewed: 
11 May 2021
Next review due: 
13 May 2024
  • 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, 2017. Volume 77, pages 140-152

  • Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019
    Office for National Statistics

  • The impact of age and gender on papillary thyroid cancer survival 

    J Jonklaas and others

    Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metababolism, 2012. 97(6):E878-87