Women and Thyroid Cancer

Women and Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is one of the most common forms of endocrine malignancy worldwide. Women are almost three times more likely to get thyroid cancer than men, and usually at an earlier age, but the disease is typically more aggressive in men.1

 

Over the past four decades, incidence rates have increased, especially in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. However, even as incidence rates have increased, mortality rates have stabilized.2

  • Thyroid cancer is the seventh most common cancer in women.1
  • In 2009, thyroid cancer resulted in an economic burden of $3.7 billion.3
  • By 2020, there will be almost 200,000 new cases of thyroid cancer annually.3

  

Thyroid cancer forms in the thyroid gland. There are four main types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic. The majority of thyroid cancers grow very slowly, and can either be cured or treated successfully. Only anaplastic thyroid cancer, which represents 1% of thyroid cancers, grows quickly and is difficult to control.4

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Risk Factors

Risk factors5,6,7 that may increase the occurrence of thyroid cancer include:

  • Age (25–65 years)
  • Gender
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Family history of thyroid disease or cancer
  • History of enlarged thyroid (goiter)
  • Genetic factors such as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2a, MEN 2b, FMTC)
  • Iodine deficiency

 

Age, being female, and exposure to radiation are the most common risk factors. Previous cancer incidence may be another possible risk factor.

Symptoms

Thyroid cancer typically does not present with early symptoms, and it is found during a routine physical exam. Swelling or a lump in the neck are the most common symptoms8,9 of thyroid cancer. As the tumor gets larger, other symptoms of thyroid cancer in women may begin to occur, including:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness 

 

Solutions

Reducing the burden of thyroid cancer in women includes:

  • Understanding risk factors
  • Making rapid, accurate diagnoses when symptoms occur
  • Implementing appropriate therapies
  • Monitoring treatment

 

Laboratory diagnostic testing plays an integral role in caring for women with thyroid cancer. Siemens' comprehensive solutions follow the complete continuum of care for thyroid cancer, including risk assessment and early prevention, diagnosis, therapy, and aftercare. In addition, our solutions in healthcare IT support the exchange of data for making informed decisions.


 

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FT3

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