Risk factors


Thyroid cancer can be caused by certain factors:

  • People with a history of radiation exposure to head or neck (e.g. for acne, enlarged adenoids or tonsils) or any other radiation exposure (e.g. atomic bomb survivors or those exposed to power plant accidents) are at increased risk.
  • Age: The chances of thyroid cancer increases with age
  • Sex: More common in females except for medullary carcinoma (cancer)
  • Genetic factors: It tends to run in family especially medullary thyroid cancer
  • People with certain medical conditions like Cowden’s disease (an inherited tendency to form tissue overgrowths called hamartomas) or familial polyposis (an inherited tendency to form thousands of fingerlike growths called polyps in the gut) are also at an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer.