Are Risk Factors Common to Thyroid Cancer and Nodule? A Forty Years Observational Time-Trend Study

Angelo Carpi, Giuseppe Rossi, Rossana Romani, Giancarlo Di Coscio, Andrea Nicolini, Tommaso Simoncini, Matteo Russo, Jeffrey Mechanick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A progressive increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer (TC) has been reported over the last few decades. This either reflects the increased number of newly discovered and accurately selected thyroid nodules with more sensitive technologies and a relative more potent carcinogenic effect of pathogenetic factors in malignant, but not benign nodules. This observational time-trend study addresses this issue by analysing the proportion of TC within 8411 consecutive thyroid nodule (TN) patients evaluated in Pisa by the same pathology Department and individual clinician over a four-decade period. From 1972 to 1979 surgery was used to detect TC among the TN patients: 1140 TN patients were operated on and 35 cancers were detected (3.1% of all the TN patients). Subsequently, needle aspiration techniques were used to select TN for surgery. From 1980 to 1992, 5403 TN patients were examined, 483 were selected for surgery, and 150 cancers were found (2.8% of all the TN patients). From 1993 to 2010, 1568 TN patients were examined, 143 were selected for surgery, and 46 cancers were found (2.9% of all the TN patients). Therefore, in the University Hospital of Pisa, and independent of preoperative TN selection protocols, these proportions of TN eventually found to harbor TC remained statistically unchanged over 40 years (p = 0.810). This finding suggests that pathogenic risk factors and more sensitive diagnostic technologies did not differentially affect the incidence of TN and TC.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere47758
JournalPLoS One
Volume7
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 31 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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