Thyroid cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women in the USA, and an estimated over 62 000 new cases occurred in men and women in 2015. The incidence continues to rise worldwide. Differentiated thyroid cancer is the most frequent subtype of thyroid cancer and in most patients the standard treatment (surgery followed by either radioactive iodine or observation) is effective. Patients with other, more rare subtypes of thyroid cancer—medullary and anaplastic—are ideally treated by physicians with experience managing these malignancies. Targeted treatments that are approved for differentiated and medullary thyroid cancers have prolonged progression-free survival, but these drugs are not curative and therefore are reserved for patients with progressive or symptomatic disease.
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