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.


Thyroid Supplements – Caution!

Thyroid diseases are common. In the US, more than 12% of Americans will develop a thyroid disorder during their lifetime. Many people with vague symptoms like feeling sluggish or weight gain, turn to dietary supplements that promise to jump-start metabolism by bolstering their thyroids with a mixture of vitamins and minerals. However these over-the-counter products may also contain thyroid hormones that should only be dispensed by prescription. In some cases these supplements contain amounts of thyroid hormone as high or higher than delivered by prescription medications. Indiscriminately use of such supplements that contain thyroid hormone may lead to serious side effects including nervousness, insomnia, heart problems and thinning of bone.

In Singapore, such products are not widely seen or available as yet. However given the ease of online orders, it might be relatively easy for these products to be obtained from overseas. Anyone with suspected thyroid disorders should consult a physician for a proper work up rather than relying on supplements to resolve their symptoms.