For differentiated thyroid cancer (papillary and follicular carcinomas), chances of recovery are usually very good. 1 Following surgery and radioiodine ablation, most patients can return to leading a "normal life" although life-long monitoring will still be required for most people. However, since the thyroid has been removed, the body can no longer produce thyroid hormones. Patients thus need to take thyroid hormone replacement in tablet form. Long-term observation studies show that for the vast majority of patients, life expectancy is unaffected.
Unfortunately, this is not true for all patients. Influencing factors include your age at diagnosis (statistically, younger patients have a better prognosis than older counterparts). Other factors affecting successful treatment include tumour type and size and the presence or absence of tumours in the neck lymph nodes or other organs.