Fast Five Quiz: Thyroid Cancer Practice Essentials

Elwyn C. Cabebe, MD; Lori J. Wirth, MD


September 08, 2022

Papillary carcinoma is the most common thyroid cancer. One of every 6 papillary thyroid cancers and two thirds of all large papillary thyroid tumors in the United States from 1995 to 2015 were attributable to overweight or obesity, according to an analysis of data from three large national US databases.

Women develop papillary cancer three times more frequently than men, though this cancer is more aggressive in men.

Cases can occur familially, either alone or in association with Gardner syndrome (familial adenomatous polyposis). Radiation exposure, especially during childhood, is associated with the development of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Patients who receive radiation therapy for certain types of head and neck cancer, especially during childhood, may have an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer.

In addition, an increased incidence of papillary cancer is hypothesized among patients with Hashimoto thyroiditis (chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis). Despite this possibility, the rate of malignancy for a given nodule in people with Hashimoto thyroiditis is similar to that of individuals with a normal gland.

Learn more about papillary thyroid carcinomas.


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