Thyroid Cancer: Global Burden and Trends

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The incidence of thyroid cancer continues to increase, representing the 5th most common cancer type in the USA today (Sherman, Lancet 361(9356):501–11, 2003). The current study sought to analyze the global burden of thyroid cancer utilizing the publicly accessible GLOBOCAN database. An estimated 586,202 cases of thyroid cancer were reported in 2020, making thyroid cancer the 10th most common cancer worldwide. The majority of thyroid cancer cases occurred in countries with a high or very high Human Development Index (HDI), accounting for 91% of new cases. With respect to the World Health Organization (WHO) regions, the Western Pacific had the highest incidence of thyroid cancer accounting for 47.6% of cases despite representing only 25.4% of the world’s population. Thyroid cancer incidence and mortality are expected to increase by 29.9% and 67%, respectively, by the year 2040. The African region is projected to experience the highest increase in both incidence (84.3%) and mortality (100.3%) over this time period. The results of our study demonstrate that the incidence and mortality of thyroid cancer vary by the geographic location and socio-economic status. Although the incidence was noted to be the highest in very high HDI countries and the Western Pacific region, mortality was noted to be disproportionately higher in the low HDI countries and African region. This may be due to discrepancies in access to care and/or environmental exposures such as ionizing radiation and iodine deficiency. Further measures are required to improve the outcomes from thyroid cancer regardless of the geographic location or socio-economic status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Geography
  • Global health
  • Incidence
  • Mortality
  • Sociodemographics
  • Thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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