(HealthDay News) — The likelihood of developing breast or thyroid cancer as a secondary malignancy is increased following diagnosis of the other cancer, according to a review published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Sarah M. Nielsen, from the University of Chicago,Thyr and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature to identify all publications examining the incidence of breast cancer as a secondary malignancy following thyroid cancer diagnosis, or thyroid cancer following breast cancer diagnosis.

Nineteen unique cohorts of breast cancer patients and 18 of thyroid cancer patients were identified.

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Data were analyzed for 956 672 breast cancer patients and 611 secondary thyroid cancers, and for 44 879 thyroid cancer patients and 5791 secondary breast cancers. The researchers found that the risk for thyroid cancer as a secondary malignancy following breast cancer was increased (odds ratio [OR]=1.55). Furthermore, the risk for breast cancer following thyroid cancer was increased (OR=1.18).

“The importance of the relationship between breast and thyroid cancer will continue to become evident as the incidence of thyroid cancers continues to rise and the treatments for both cancers continue to improve,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Nielsen SM, White MG, Hong S, et al. The Breast–Thyroid Cancer Link: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016;25(31). doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0833.