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Rethinking the Management of Differentiated and Anaplastic Thyroid Cancers With Jochen Lorch, MD, MSc, and Carolyn Grande, CRNP, AOCNP®

Thyroid cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in the United States. An estimated 44,280 new cases are diagnosed annually, and 2,200 people die of the disease (ACS, 2021). Thyroid cancer is typically more aggressive in men than in women and becomes increasingly lethal in those above the age of 40 (NCCN, 2021). There are three primary subtypes: differentiated (including papillary, follicular, and Hürthle), medullary, and anaplastic. The differentiated subtype is the most common, accounting for approximately 95% of cases (NCCN, 2021). Although surgical resection may be curative and 10-year survival rates are high, questions remain over the management of more advanced or high-risk disease, including indications for novel therapies, their optimal starting times and dosing schedules, and their long-term safety profiles (NCCN, 2021). The anaplastic subtype has the worst prognosis, with a 1-year survival rate of 20% and a disease-specific mortality rate of nearly 100% (NCCN, 2021). 

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