Log in

2020 is the ATF’s 25th

Anniversary Year!

25 Years of Support, Education,

Awareness and Advocacy



Thyroid Cancer develops when thyroid cells divide in an abnormal way into one of the four types of thyroid cancer.

  • 95% of thyroid cancers can be cured with early diagnosis and treatments.
  • Early detection, diagnosis and treatment is important for a positive outcome.
  • Thyroid cancer occurs when cells within the thyroid gland divide and grow in a disorderly manner and become malignant.
  • Thyroid cancer is divided into four main types; Papillary, Follicular, Medullary and Anaplastic.


  1. Papillary cancer is the most common type of thyroid cancer, representing approximately 70% of all cases. Papillary cancer develops from the thyroid’s follicular cells with a tumour forming in one lobe of the gland.
  2. Follicular cancer is the second most common type of thyroid cancer, with about 25% represented. This cancer also develops from the thyroid’s follicular cells.
  3. Medullary cancer is less common, representing about 4% of all thyroid cancers. This cancer develops from the C-cells. It can be linked to an inherited faulty gene, or occur sporadically. A patient can inherit familial medullary thyroid cancer (FMTC or a type of multiple endocrine neoplasia (Men) syndrome. This puts the patient at risk of developing endocrine tumours.
  4. Anaplastic is a very rare form of thyroid cancer. It is most common in elderly people. Representing 1% of all thyroid cancers. This type of cancer develops from the follicular cells, or may develop from undiagnosed papillary or follicular thyroid cancer.

Thyroid cancer appears to be increasing in frequency and is almost always treated successfully (95% can be cured). The most common sign of thyroid cancer is the development of a lump in or on the thyroid gland or swelling of the gland. Other symptoms suggesting thyroid cancer include hoarseness of the voice, difficulty in swallowing and swelling of the lymph glands in the neck.

Treatment for thyroid cancer is surgical removal of the thyroid gland, (total thyroidectomy) usually followed by radioactive iodine therapy and lifelong thyroxine replacement therapy (Levothyroxine). Please read Treatments and Medications for more information.

Thyroid Cancer Symptoms

  • Thyroid cancer can progress slowly, without obvious symptoms being recognised. Diagnosis can often be determined through an unrelated condition.
  • A painless lump (nodule) which has grown slowly or in some cases, rapidly
  • A hoarse voice
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck

If you have any of these symptoms, please consult your doctor. Initially, your doctor will usually order a Thyroid Ultrasound which shows the size, shape and texture of the gland and determined if a thyroid nodule is a concern.


Tel: +61 (0) 447 834 724

Mailing Address:

PO Box 36

Narellan NSW 2150



The mission of The Australian Thyroid Foundation Ltd (ATF) is to offer support, information and education to members and their families through the many services provided by The ATF and raise awareness about health consequences of iodine deficiency and the benefits of good thyroid health.

© 2020 Thyroid Foundation |  Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Web Design by : Advance Web Design

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software