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Home  >  For Participants  >  Study Findings  >  Thyroid Cancer


  • Researchers combined data from the CTS and 21 other prospective studies to study the effect of body size on thyroid cancer risk. In this study, greater height, waist circumference, young-adult BMI, and adulthood BMI gain were all associated with increased thyroid cancer risk, including anaplastic carcinoma—the least common but most aggressive form of thyroid cancer.  Read more here.

  • CTS participants who lived in a rural area during early childhood had a significantly reduced risk of developing papillary thyroid cancer as an adult.  Read more here.

  • A 2013 study found that CTS participants whose long-term physical activity averaged at least 5.5 MET hours per week had a non-significant 23% lower risk of papillary thyroid cancer risk than inactive women. For participants with a BMI <25, long-term recreational moderate and strenuous physical activity was associated with reduced risk of papillary thyroid cancer.  Read more here.

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  • Previous research has shown that women have a higher risk of developing differentiated thyroid cancer than men. Using data from the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Cohort Consortium, this 2023 publication examined how reproductive and hormonal factors might affect women's risk of differentiated thyroid cancer. The results from this study suggest that age at menarche (first period), age at menopause, use of hormone therapy, and history of hysterectomy or oophorectomy were all associated with risk of differentiated thyroid cancer.  Read more here.

  • Among younger women (<45 years at baseline), later age at first menstruation (>or=14 years) was associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer. Risk was also elevated in young women with longer menstrual cycles (>30 days) and whose last pregnancy had ended within five years of cohort enrollment. These results suggest that factors related to delayed puberty may play a role in papillary thyroid cancer risk.  Read more here.

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