Association of thyroid, breast and renal cell cancer: a population-based study of the prevalence of second malignancies

Ann Surg Oncol. 2013 Apr;20(4):1341-7. doi: 10.1245/s10434-012-2718-3. Epub 2012 Dec 21.


Background: Analysis of the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data has shown that the incidence of thyroid cancer is higher in patients with a preexisting malignancy and that the incidence of other malignancies is higher in patients with thyroid cancer. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of a second malignancy in patients treated for thyroid, breast or renal cell cancer and determine what associations, if any, exist between these cancers.

Methods: This study utilized the novel data system, Explorys, as its population base. Patient cohorts were constructed using ICD-9 codes, and prevalence rates were obtained for each cancer. Rates of second malignancy were obtained and compared to the baseline prevalence for a particular malignancy.

Results: Female thyroid cancer patients had a 0.67- and twofold increase in prevalence of a subsequent breast and renal cell cancer. Female breast and renal cell cancer patients had a twofold and 1.5-fold increase in the prevalence of thyroid cancer, respectively. Male patients with thyroid cancer had a 29- and 4.5-fold increase in prevalence of subsequent breast and renal cell cancer. Male patients with breast and renal cell cancer had an increased prevalence of subsequent thyroid cancer, 19- and threefold, respectively.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrated a bidirectional association between thyroid, breast and renal cancer in both male and female patients. This may have important implications for patient follow-up and screening after treatment of a primary cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Kidney Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / therapy
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / epidemiology*
  • Ohio / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Registries
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / therapy