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December 13, 1976

Thyroid Supplements and Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations

University of Miami School of Medicine Miami

JAMA. 1976;236(24):2744. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270250013006

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To the Editor.—  Kapdi and Wolfe reported that 5,505 patients were referred for mammography; 380 (6.9%) were found to have carcinoma of the breast, and 22.6% of these breast carcinoma patients were receiving thyroid supplements for hypothyroidism or for simple goiter. They also reported that the incidence of breast cancer in patients receiving thyroid supplements for hypothyroidism is almost twice that of patients in the control group, who did not receive thyroid medication.We reviewed the records of breast carcinoma patients at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami for a two-year period (April 1974 to April 1976) and found 222 patients with documented breast carcinoma. Only two of these patients (0.9%) were hypothyroid and receiving thyroid hormone supplements.This low incidence (0.9%) in Miami is substantially different from the 22.6% incidence reported by Kapdi and Wolfe in Detroit, which leads us to believe that the problem is more complicated than stated