Thyroid tumors in Alaska natives are larger and more advanced at diagnosis

A new study spanning 45 years has shown that while Alaska Natives have a similar incidence of thyroid cancer as the U.S. white population, their tumors at the time of diagnosis tend to be larger and to have spread beyond a localized area. The data, culled from the National Cancer Institute’s Alaska Native Tumor Registry, are described in an article published in Thyroid.

The article entitled “Occurrence of Endocrine and Thyroid Cancers among Alaska Native People, 1969-2013 ” was coauthored by Sarah Nash, PhD MPH, Anne Lanier, MD, MPH, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage and Molly Southworth, MD, MPH, Alaska Native Medical Center, Anchorage. The researchers searched the registry to identify cases of endocrine cancer diagnosed over a 45-year period, focusing their comparison specifically on thyroid cancers, more than 85% of which were papillary tumors.

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