One in five thyroid cancers linked to overweight

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In a new study from the University of New South Wales, researchers examined the future thyroid cancer burden in Australia.

They found that 1 in 5 future thyroid cancers is attributable to current levels of overweight and obesity. Avoiding excess weight, especially obesity, should be a priority for thyroid cancer prevention.

Thyroid cancer is one of the few cancers that is two to three times as common in women as in men.

But The study found that the future thyroid cancer burden attributable to overweight/obese is higher for men compared with women.

Being overweight or obese explains two in five thyroid cancers in men, and one in 10 thyroid cancers in women.

The study findings were based on seven Australian cohort studies involving 370,000 participants, which enabled the evaluation of less common cancers such as thyroid cancer.

As prevalence of overweight/obesity is higher in men than women it adds to the sex difference in thyroid cancer burden.

The team says while this study defines what is linked to one in five thyroid cancers in Australia, it’s not well understood what explains the remainder.

Other lifestyle factors do not appear to be implicated but ionizing radiation exposure, iodine deficiency and some genetic factors and family history are known to increase the thyroid cancer risk.

Thyroid cancer is a bit like prostate cancer that its risk factors are not yet very well understood.

The next steps include a study on the preventable burden of stomach and oesophageal cancers, and a summary paper on preventable cancer burden in Australia across all cancers.

If you care about weight management, please read studies about 5 steps to lose weight and keep it off, and findings that major weight loss may reverse heart disease risks.

For more information about weight loss and your health, please see recent studies about this tea may help you lose weight during sleep and results showing that this common eating habit may lead to high blood sugar, weight gain.

The study is published in the International Journal of Cancer. One author of the study is Dr. Maarit Laaksonen.

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