What are the key statistics about thyroid cancer?
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for thyroid cancer in the United States for 2013 are:
- About 60,220 new cases of thyroid cancer (45,310 in women, and 14,910 in men)
- About 1,850 deaths from thyroid cancer (1,040 women and 810 men)
Thyroid cancer is commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most other adult cancers. Nearly 2 out of 3 cases are found in people younger than 55 years of age. About 2% of thyroid cancers occur in children and teens.
The chance of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer has risen in recent years and is now more than twice what it was in 1990. Some of this is the result of the increased use of thyroid ultrasound, which can detect small thyroid nodules that might not otherwise have been found in the past. Still, at least part of the increase is from finding more large tumors as well.
The death rate from thyroid cancer has been fairly stable for many years, and remains very low compared with most other cancers. Statistics on survival rates for thyroid cancer are discussed in the section, “Thyroid cancer survival by type and stage.”
Last Medical Review: 12/03/2012
Last Revised: 01/17/2013