The Development of Breast Carcinoma in Women with Thyroid Carcinoma
Authors: Amy Y. Chen, MD, Lawrence Levy, MD, Helmuth Goepfert, MD, Barry W. Brown, MD, Margaret R. Spitz, MD, and Rena Vassilopoulou-Sellin, MD.
Published: Cancer, 92(2); 225-231, 2001.
Breast cancer and thyroid cancer affect predominantly women; though an association has been suggested by some investigators, the potential impact of treatment of either condition on the development of the other remains unclear.
This study utilized the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database from 1973 to 1994; 365 women were identified as having both thyroid and breast cancers. Age-specific and calendar-year-specific incidence rates for thyroid and breast cancers were calculated, and a total of 1,333,115 person-years were analyzed. The study showed that 113 thyroid cancer cases were diagnosed after breast cancer cases, and 25 breast cancer cases were diagnosed after thyroid cancer cases. Premenopausal women with an index of thyroid carcinoma were at increased risk for developing breast cancer; this was limited to white American women. Women with an index of breast cancer did not have an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer. Hence, women with a history of thyroid cancer, especially premenopausal white women, have a greater risk of developing breast cancer. The implications of this observation needs further investigation.