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Research Letter
December 24/31, 2019

Changes in Trends in Thyroid Cancer Incidence in the United States, 1992 to 2016

Author Affiliations
  • 1Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • 2Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
  • 3Department of Surgery, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, New York
JAMA. 2019;322(24):2440-2441. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.18528

The incidence of thyroid cancer in the United States tripled between 1974 and 2013, increasing from 4.5 to 14.4 per 100 000 population.1,2 This increase has primarily been attributed to increasing detection of a subclinical reservoir of small thyroid cancers, although a concurrent increase in the true incidence of disease has not been ruled out. Autopsy studies reveal that many persons without known thyroid disease (4%-11%) harbor clinically occult thyroid cancers, suggesting that increasing health care utilization and imaging technologies have led to the detection of increasing numbers of cancers, without a change in the actual occurrence of thyroid cancer.1,3