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September 20, 2006

Changing Incidence of Thyroid Cancer

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2006;296(11):1350. doi:10.1001/jama.296.11.1350-a

To the Editor: In their study of the increasing incidence of thyroid cancer in the United States between 1973 and 2002, Drs Davies and Welch1 concluded that the increase was artifactual, due to increasing detection of small thyroid nodules. We believe that this conclusion is premature. Use of imaging technology for the thyroid may have begun increasing in the early 1980s, but workup for thyroid disease generally occurs because of symptoms or signs. We are not aware of any organized, concerted, sustained effort in thyroid cancer screening.

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