Previously, we and others have found that the prognosis of patients with well differentiated thyroid cancer is related to patient age and gender. In this study, we examined estrogen and glucocorticoid receptors in thyroid cancers and adjacent non-neoplastic thyroid tissues from 31 Chinese patients. Our results indicate that the level of estrogen and glucocorticoid receptors in thyroid cancer tissues was similar to that in non-neoplastic thyroid tissues. Significant higher estrogen and glucocorticoid receptor levels were found in thyroid cancers from men than women. There was no difference in estrogen receptor levels from thyroid cancer in women less than or older than 45. However, the level of glucocorticoid receptor in thyroid cancer from women less than 45 years old was significantly higher than that of women older than 45. Estrogen or glucocorticoid receptor levels did not correlate with tumor invasiveness. The pathobiological role of glucocorticoid receptors in thyroid cancer is not known but may be involved in changes in circadian rhythm of thyroid tumors.