What is known?
Thyroid cancer incidence has increased in many parts of the world since the 1980s, as has the prevalence of obesity. People with greater body size have higher thyroid cancer risk. It is unclear whether this association is causal or is driven by over-diagnosis of indolent cancers.
What is new?
The study conducted showed that overall, obesity was associated with greater risk of thyroid cancer. The association with obesity was significantly stronger for BRAF-mutation positive than BRAF-negative papillary thyroid cancers. The increased risks associated with overweight/obesity did not vary by histological subtypes or presence/absence of adverse tumour histologic features.
What does this mean?
Greater risk of BRAF-mutated papillary thyroid cancers among overweight or obese people suggests that the association may not merely reflect greater health care service use. These results indicate an independent relationship between obesity and clinically important thyroid cancer.
Contact: Peter Baade
Reference: Rahman ST, Pandeya N, Neale RE, McLeod DSA, Bain CJ, Baade PD, Youl PH, Allison R, Leonard S, Jordan SJ. Obesity is associated with BRAF(V600E)-mutated thyroid cancer. Thyroid. 2020 Oct;30(10):1518-1527.