Heart Disease, Osteoporosis Risks Up in Young Thyroid Cancer Survivors

HealthDay News — Younger survivors of thyroid cancer are at increased risk for certain types of health problems later in life, according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer Survivorship Symposium.1

Brenna Blackburn, MPH, a graduate research assistant at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues tracked data from 3706 thyroid cancer survivors in Utah diagnosed between 1997 and 2012. The researchers compared those patients’ long-term health with that of 15,587 people who did not have thyroid cancer.

The researchers found that thyroid cancer survivors diagnosed before age 40 were 5 times more likely to develop peri-, endo-, or myocarditis, and more than twice as likely to develop heart valve disorders, compared with people in the other group.

Patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer when young were also more than 7 times more likely to develop osteoporosis, and more likely to have hypertension and cardiac dysrhythmias.1 Patients diagnosed after age 40 were 46% more likely to develop hypertension and more than twice as likely to develop osteoporosis than people who’d never had thyroid cancer.1

“As the number of thyroid cancer survivors grows, more people are living with other serious health conditions resulting from treatment,” Blackburn said in an American Society of Clinical Oncology news release.2 “It’s important to understand these long-term risks so that we can not only help manage their health, but also inform how oncologists care for these patients from the onset of diagnosis.”

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  1. Blackburn B, Ganz PA, Rowe KG, et al. Abstract 111. Late effects among young thyroid cancer survivors. Presented at: ASCO 2017 Cancer Survivorship Symposium; January 27-28, 2017; San Diego, California.
  2. Young thyroid cancer survivors face increased risk of heart conditions, osteoporosis [news release]. Alexandria, VA: ASCO Press Center; January 23, 2017. http://www.asco.org/about-asco/press-center/news-releases/young-thyroid-cancer-survivors-face-increased-risk-heart. Accessed January 26, 2017.