Breast Cancer and Thyroid Cancer Strongly Linked: Study
Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are more likely to develop thyroid cancer and vice versa, according to a new study. The study puts an important spotlight on this potential connection that healthcare providers and their patients should be aware of.
The study in question looked at the risks women diagnosed with one form of the disease faced for the other developing as a second malignancy. After crunching the numbers, researchers found an elevated risk related to both forms of cancer.
Just why a diagnosis of breast cancer is more likely to lead to thyroid cancer and vice versa remains unknown. Researchers, however, speculate the elevated risks might be related to such things as hormones, radiation exposure, genetics and obesity. While more research is required to better understand the connection, women can help eliminate at least one of those risks. Those who are considered obese can take steps to attain and maintain a healthy weight. If losing weight is a challenge, healthcare providers have a number of tools available to help.
An estimated 246,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. About 62,400 new cases of thyroid cancer are diagnosed annually. This disease strikes about 49,000 women each year and nearly 20,000 men. Both forms of cancer are considered highly treatable in most cases if they are caught in their earliest phases. with that in mind, it is important for women to undergo routine screening for breast cancer and to understand the signs of thyroid cancer, as well. If one form of the disease is diagnosed, women and their healthcare providers should be aware of elevated risks for second cancer formation.
All women are encouraged to speak with their doctors about their risks for breast and thyroid cancer. Early screening is also recommended to become a part of a woman’s annual healthy routine, especially for breast cancer.