Canadian Cancer Society logo

Thyroid cancer

You are here: 

If thyroid cancer spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the thyroid to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. If thyroid cancer spreads, it can spread to the following.

Regional metastasis

Regional metastasis means that the cancer has spread to organs or tissues close to or around the thyroid, including:

  • muscles, blood vessels or nerves in the neck
  • the larynx (voice box)
  • the trachea (windpipe)
  • the esophagusesophagusThe muscular tube in the neck and chest through which food passes from the pharynx (throat) to the stomach.
  • the hypopharynx (bottom part of the throat)
  • lymph nodes in the neck
  • lymph nodes between the lungs (called mediastinal lymph nodes)

Distant metastasis

Distant metastasis means that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body farther from the thyroid, including:


Dr Christopher Phenix Dr Christopher Phenix developed a new tool to watch aggressive cancers.

Learn more

Establishing a national caregivers strategy

Illustration of caregivers

The Canadian Cancer Society is actively lobbying the federal government to establish a national caregivers strategy to ensure there is more financial support for this important group of people.

Learn more