Thyroid disease affects 27 million Americans, more than the number diagnosed with diabetes and cancer combined. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be approximately 48,000 new cases of thyroid cancer diagnosed in the United States annually, and of these new cases, over 70% will be women.
Thyroid cancers can occur at all ages but are relatively common in younger women, a group not typically at high risk for cancers. The notable risk factor that has been identified for thyroid cancer is radiation exposure at a young age. Data from the Chernobyl nuclear accident, atomic bomb survivors, and patients who have received therapeutic radiation to the head and neck indicate that radiation exposure is a strong risk factor for thyroid cancer.
Source: American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2011. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2011
Source: Atlas of Clinical Positron Emission Tomography by Sallie F. Barrington, Michael N. Maisey and Richard R. Wahl. Oxford University Press, Inc. New York, NY. 2006.