Thyroid Cancer

pp 9-13

Epidemiology of Thyroid Cancer

  • James J. FiggeAffiliated withDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, State University of New YorkCapital District Physicians’ Health Plan and Department of Medicine, St. Peter’s Hospital and Albany Medical Center Hospital

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Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy, accounting for 1.9% of all new malignant tumors (excluding skin cancer and in situ carcinomas) diagnosed annually in the United States (0.92% of cancers in men; 2.9% in women; 1). Annual incidence rates vary by geographic area, age, and sex. The age-adjusted annual incidence (from 1996 to 2000) in the United States is 68 new cases per million (2,3), with a higher incidence in women (99/million) than men (36/million) (2,4). Approximately 25,690 new cases of thyroid cancer are now diagnosed annually in the United States with a female_male ratio close to 3:1 (1). Worldwide, incidence rates are highest in certain geographic areas, such as Hawaii (119/million women and 45/million men), probably as a result of local environmental influences (2,5). Rates in Poland are among the lowest recorded: 14 per million women and four per million men (6). Thyroid cancer is very rare in children under age 15. The annual U.S. incidence in this population is 2.2 per million girls and 0.9 per million boys (7). The annual incidence of thyroid cancer increases with age, peaking between 100 and 120 per million by the fifth through eighth decades (2).