Risk of thyroid cancer following hysterectomy

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

: 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.

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