Does thyroid cancer spread to the throat?

The tumor is any size and the cancer may have spread from the thyroid to nearby neck muscles. The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes on one or both sides of the trachea or larynx. The primary mode of spread in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PCT) is lymphatic. Bloodborne metastases to distant sites are rare.

Known sites of distant dissemination in PCT are bone, lung, skin, and brain, while involvement of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, larynx, pharynx, trachea, and esophagus occurs due to direct infiltration. Distant metastases have also been reported to the kidney, cerebellum, skin and esophagus. BACKGROUND Most patients with thyroid cancer have the cancer contained in the thyroid at the time of diagnosis. About 30% will have metastatic cancer, and most will have spread to the lymph nodes in the neck and only 1 to 4% will have spread the cancer outside the neck to other organs, such as the lungs and bones.

Most patients with thyroid cancer have an excellent prognosis, even if there is spread outside the neck at diagnosis. However, death, although rare, occurs mainly in patients who have spread cancer outside the neck to other organs. In this study, patients with metastatic cancer outside the neck were examined to determine factors that predict prognosis. Multiorgan distant metastases confer poorer disease-specific survival in differentiated thyroid cancer.

Cancer spread to individual organs occurred in 93 patients and multiorgan spread was observed in 32 patients. A radical approach to the current disease would involve total thyroidectomy and partial laryngopharyngectomy. Or any localized tumor (T1, T2, or T) with spread to the central compartment of the lymph nodes (N1a) but without distant spread (M0). A direct association has also been reported between the presence of extraganglional spread and the occurrence of distant metastases.

In this group, 70% of patients had spread cancer to the lymph nodes in the neck and 57% had spread cancer outside the neck. Although direct infiltration of papillary thyroid carcinoma to the larynx, trachea and esophagus is well recognized, lymphatic and vascular metastases to the larynx and hypopharynx have rarely been reported. STUDY SUMMARY The Memorial Sloan-Kettering institutional database was searched for patients with thyroid cancer with distant metastases found at diagnosis or during follow-up. Or, it describes a localized tumor (T1, T2, or T) with lymph node spread beyond the central compartment (N1b) but without distant spread (M0).

For more advanced cases, the letters “A”, “B” and “C” are also used to indicate how much the cancer has spread. Staging is a way of describing where the cancer is found, if it has spread or where, and if it is affecting other parts of the body. The absence of retropharyngeal and central compartment lymphadenopathy and the predominant nodal spread to the lateral compartment (levels II, III, IV) is also an argument against this. The thyroidectomy attempt failed due to extensive extra thyroid infiltration of the tumor and the patient was referred to a cancer center.

In addition to the TNM system, papillary and follicular thyroid cancers are also staged based on the patient's age.

Greta Rulnick
Greta Rulnick

Friendly coffee advocate. Avid beer geek. Total tv aficionado. Music buff. Lifelong zombie guru.