Thyroid cancer mortality and incidence: a global overview

Int J Cancer. 2015 May 1;136(9):2187-95. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29251. Epub 2014 Oct 13.


In most areas of the world, thyroid cancer incidence has been appreciably increasing over the last few decades, whereas mortality has steadily declined. We updated global trends in thyroid cancer mortality and incidence using official mortality data from the World Health Organization (1970-2012) and incidence data from the Cancer Incidence in Five Continents (1960-2007). Male mortality declined in all the major countries considered, with annual percent changes around -2/-3% over the last decades. Only in the United States mortality declined up to the mid 1980s and increased thereafter. Similarly, in women mortality declined in most countries considered, with APCs around -2/-5% over the last decades, with the exception of the UK, the United States and Australia, where mortality has been declining up to the late 1980s/late 1990s to level off (or increase) thereafter. In 2008-2012, most countries had mortality rates (age-standardized, world population) between 0.20 and 0.40/100,000 men and 0.20 and 0.60/100,000 women, the highest rates being in Latvia, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova and Israel (over 0.40/100,000) for men and in Ecuador, Colombia and Israel (over 0.60/100,000) for women. In most countries, a steady increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer (mainly papillary carcinomas) was observed in both sexes. The declines in thyroid cancer mortality reflect both variations in risk factor exposure and changes in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, while the increases in the incidence are likely due to the increase in the detection of this neoplasm over the last few decades.

Keywords: incidence; joinpoint analysis; mortality; thyroid cancer; trends.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / mortality*
  • World Health Organization