ThyCa News

Thyroid Cancer Diagnoses Down, Deaths Up for 2019


Thyroid cancer diagnoses are predicted to decline to 52,070 in 2019, compared to 53,990 in 2018 in the United States, according to information from the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  

In spite of this decline, deaths from thyroid cancer are expected to increase by 5.3%, to 2,170 in 2019, compared to a 2.5% increase to 2,060 in 2018. The thyroid cancer death rate has been gradually increasing for the last several years.  

Thyroid cancer affects people of all ages, from young children to seniors. About half of people diagnosed are under age 50 and three-quarters are female.  

“We are glad to see the decline in number of diagnoses, and grateful for the advances, including molecular analysis when an initial diagnosis of a nodule is inconclusive. This will help avoid at least some unnecessary surgeries,” said ThyCa Executive Director Gary Bloom, himself a 23-year thyroid cancer survivor. 

”We are also grateful for the ongoing advances in treatment research, which are extending the lives of many people with advanced and complex thyroid cancers, as well as clarifying issues such as when treatment needs to occur immediately and when active surveillance (“watch and wait”) may be more appropriate.” 

“At the same time, we are concerned about the continuing rise in the thyroid cancer death rate—this contrasts with most other cancers, for which death rates have steadily declined.   This trend signals a need for additional research, continued exploration of more treatment options, and more patient and public education and support,” continued Bloom. “These are key areas of focus for ThyCa, and we will continue to lead these efforts. Neck palpation by a medical professional during regular office visits is especially helpful, because it is quick and needs only the professional’s hands.”

ThyCa invites everyone to learn more about thyroid cancer. For free materials and tips for raising awareness, visit our Awareness Page.