Sister or Mother have Papillary Thyroid Cancer? You are also at risk to develop thyroid cancer in your lifetime.
- Familial thyroid cancer: type of thyroid cancer that runs in families that is not medullary thyroid cancer.
- It is called Familial Non-medullary Papillary Cancer or FNMPTC.
- This is usually papillary thyroid cancer and occurs in about 10% of thyroid cancers.
- Sporadic papillary thyroid cancer: The usual form of thyroid cancer that does not have a genetic component and does not run in families.
- Most papillary thyroid cancers occur in individuals without a family history of thyroid cancer (sporadic thyroid cancer).
- Factors that increase the chance of developing papillary thyroid cancer are radiation exposure to the head and neck area.
- Iodine deficiency and history of thyroid diseases.
- Approximately 5% of thyroid cancers are thought to run in families (familial thyroid cancer).
- Previous studies showed that patients having a relative diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer have a 5-10 fold higher chance of developing the thyroid cancer themselves.
- Also more likely to have a more aggressive form of cancer.
- It is thus important to detect and treat the at-risk relatives at an early stage.
- In this study, the authors studied the familial risk of developing papillary thyroid cancer in large Utah population.
- A total of 4460 patients diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer in Utah were compared to individuals similar by sex, age and place of birth but without known thyroid disease.
- The chance of developing papillary thyroid cancer among first, second and third degree relatives was then measured.
- A 5-fold higher chance of developing papillary thyroid cancer was seen among first degree relatives.
This was especially true for brothers and sisters (6.8-fold).
Risk of developing papillary thyroid cancer among second degree (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins: 2.24-fold).
Third degree (first cousins: 1.76-fold) relatives was much lower, but still significantly higher than individuals without known thyroid disease.
The results of this study confirm prior reports that there is an increased risk of developing thyroid cancers in families.
The author does not recommend screening of families, but case finding among family members would be valuable to find the cancer early.
If you had a family member with thyroid cancer and you knew there was a significant increased risk of you having thyroid cancer, would you want to have a neck ultrasound to see if you had nodules that were suspicious and that needed a biopsy?
Most would say yes, but some would rather not know.
- Call me at 310-393-8860 or email to [email protected] for a cancer evaluation if you have a family member with papillary thyroid cancer.