How common is thyroid cancer?
The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for thyroid cancer in the United States for 2016 are:
- About 62,450 new cases of thyroid cancer (49,350in women, and 19,950 in men)
- About 1,980 deaths from thyroid cancer (1,070 women and 910 men)
The death rate from thyroid cancer has been fairly steady for many years, and remains very low compared with most other cancers. Statistics on survival rates for thyroid cancer are discussed in “Thyroid cancer survival, by type and stage.”
Lifetime risk of thyroid cancer
Thyroid cancer is commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most other adult cancers. Nearly 3 out of 4 cases are found in women, 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 the most rapidly increasing cancer in the US tripling in the past three decades. Much of this rise appears to be 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.
Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.
Last Revised: 04/15/2016