Unexpected additional increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer among a recent birth cohort in Switzerland

Eur J Cancer Prev. 2006 Apr;15(2):178-86. doi: 10.1097/01.cej.0000197450.94980.36.


Data collected by the Swiss Cancer Registries Network (ASRT/VSKR) have been used to analyse trends in thyroid cancer during the last available 20 years, to make within-country geographical comparisons for current incidence rates. Age-standardized (European population) incidence rates per 100,000 for all morphologies combined ranges from 1.62 to 2.99 among males and from 2.13 to 8.09 among females in Switzerland. Regression analyses for both sexes combined detected an increase in time for papillary cases and a decrease for other types. Age-period-cohort analyses revealed that the youngest cohorts of men and women born after 1940 had an increased risk of all types of thyroid cancer while the cohort of people born between 1920 and 1939 were at increased risk of the papillary subtype. Assuming a higher sensitivity to ionizing radiation among the youngest people, a Chernobyl effect cannot be definitively excluded and continuous study of this topic should be encouraged.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / etiology
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Papillary, Follicular / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary, Follicular / etiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Power Plants
  • Radioactive Fallout
  • Radioactive Hazard Release
  • Registries
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / etiology
  • Time Factors
  • Ukraine


  • Radioactive Fallout