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 2018 are:

  • About 53,990 new cases of thyroid cancer (40,900 in women, and 13,090 in men)
  • About 2,060 deaths from thyroid cancer (1,100 women and 960 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 Rates, 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.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master's-prepared 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 2018. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2018.

Last Medical Review: March 31, 2016 Last Revised: January 4, 2018

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