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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Dartmouth Finds Increased Incidence of Thyroid Cancer Associated with Increased Diagnosis

The increased incidence of thyroid cancer appears to be associated with an “epidemic of diagnosis” and not disease, according to a study by Dr. Louise Davies, of the VA Medical Center and Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. An increase in thyroid cancer previously has been reported, largely due to the detection of small papillary cancers, a common and less aggressive form of the disease, according to the study published in JAMA Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery. The authors suggest the jump in incidence is due to an increase in diagnosis and possibly over-diagnosis of papillary thyroid cancer, which can be present in patients without symptoms. Over-diagnosis occurs when a person is diagnosed with a condition that causes no symptoms and may cause them no eventual harm.