About 2700 people are diagnosed with thyroid cancer in Australia each year. The incidence of thyroid cancer has been steadily increasing with diagnosis of papillary thyroid cancers having tripled over the last three decades. In fact, thyroid cancer is currently on track to be the 4th most common cancer by 2030.
Most of this increase is attributed to “overdiagnosis”. This is where thyroid abnormalities are found while having medical imaging for another reason (for example, a scan of the lungs). It is suggested that many of these cancers would not have caused symptoms or resulted in death if they had been left undiagnosed or untreated.
It is important to remember that the overall prognosis for thyroid cancer is excellent. You can read more about thyroid cancer and other thyroid conditions here.