Thyroid Cancer Incidence Triples

A dramatic rise in thyroid cancer has resulted from overdiagnosis and treatment of tumors too small to ever cause harm, according to a study that found cases nearly tripled since 1975. This finding is not surprising considering the advent of thyroid ultrasound screening and availability of bedside histological diagnosis using fine needle aspiration in the clinic. While it is true that many of such tumor are so slow growing that they may not cause any problems for many years, such a report should not encourage patients to leave their thyroid nodules unattended. There is a risk that these thyroid nodules may be aggressive. Although watchful waiting and active surveillance would indeed suffice for many of these thyroid nodules, all thyroid nodules should still be fully evaluated by a specialist before deciding on the best course of action.