What is known?
Hysterectomy has been associated with an increased thyroid cancer risk but it is unclear whether this is due to a biological link or due to increased diagnosis of indolent cancers due to greater medical contact
What is new?
A case control study was carried out, including 730 women diagnosed with thyroid cancer and 785 age-matched women without thyroid cancer.
Having had a hysterectomy was associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer. This association appeared slightly stronger for those who had their hysterectomy before the age of 55 years and/or who had had the procedure as a treatment for menstrual disorders.
What does this mean?
These results suggest that an imbalance in sex hormones may have the potential to be a contributor to the development of thyroid cancers in women. Only a small proportion of the increase in thyroid cancer incidence can be explained by more frequent use of healthcare services.
Larger studies are required to confirm these findings.
Contact: Peter Baade
Reference: Rahman ST, Pandeya N, Neale RE, McLeod DSA, Baade PD, Youl PH, Allison R, Leonard S, Jordan SJ. Risk of thyroid cancer following hysterectomy. Cancer Epidemiology. 2021; 72:101931.