What are the key statistics about thyroid cancer?
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for thyroid cancer in the United States for 2015 are:
- About 62,450 new cases of thyroid cancer (47,230 in women, and 15,220 in men)
- About 1,950 deaths from thyroid cancer (1,080 women and 870 men)
Thyroid cancer is commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most other adult cancers. Nearly 2 out of 3 cases are found in people younger than 55 years of age. About 2% of thyroid cancers occur in children and teens.
The chance of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer has risen in recent years and it the most rapidly increasing cancer in the US. Most of this is 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. Still, at least part of the increase is from finding more large tumors as well.
The death rate from thyroid cancer has been fairly stable for many years, and remains very low compared with most other cancers. Statistics on survival rates for thyroid cancer are discussed in the section “Thyroid cancer survival by type and stage.”