Key Statistics for Thyroid Cancer

How common is thyroid cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for thyroid cancer in the United States for 2020 are:

  • About 52,890 new cases of thyroid cancer (12,720 in men and 40,170 in women)
  • About 2,180 deaths from thyroid cancer (1,040 men and 1,140 women)

The death rate for thyroid cancer increased slightly from 2008 to 2017 (0.6% per year) but appears tro have stabilized in recent years. Statistics on survival rates for thyroid cancer are discussed in Survival Rates for Thyroid Cancer.

Thyroid cancer is commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most other adult cancers. And women are 3 times more likely to develop thyroid cancer than men.

Until recently, thyroid cancer was the most rapidly increasing cancer in the US, largely due to increased detection. Much of this rise appears to be the result of the use of more sensitive diagnostic procedures, such as CT or MRI scans (done for other medical problems), which can detect incidental 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.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2020. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2020.

Last Revised: January 8, 2020

American Cancer Society medical information is copyrighted material. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy.