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20-09-2016 | Endocrine cancers | Book chapter | Article

2. Epidemiology of Thyroid Cancer

Author: MD, MBA, FACP James J. Figge

Publisher: Springer New York


Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy and its incidence is increasing in the United States and many other countries. Several factors have been proposed to explain the increase, including the increased use of improved diagnostic technology (ultrasound, FNA), and exposure of populations to various sources of radiation. Thyroid cancer prevalence varies widely and depends on many factors including the method of detection; papillary microcarcinomas are common in autopsy specimens. Despite the increasing incidence, mortality from thyroid cancer remains low and has decreased, largely due to the decreased incidence of anaplastic carcinoma. Papillary thyroid cancer predominates in iodine-sufficient areas. For most thyroid cancers, females predominate. There are several known genetic syndromes that confer thyroid cancer risk. Radiation exposure in childhood has been shown to be an unequivocal risk factor, and a history of goiter or benign nodules/adenomas is the next strongest risk factor.

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