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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5308635, 9 pages
Review Article

Review of Factors Related to the Thyroid Cancer Epidemic

Department of Endocrinology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, 58 Zhongshan Road 2, Guangzhou, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Haipeng Xiao

Received 6 January 2017; Accepted 12 April 2017; Published 7 May 2017

Academic Editor: Diego Russo

Copyright © 2017 Yihao Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer, of which the incidence has dramatically increased worldwide in the past few decades. The reasons for the observed rapid increase still are not fully understood, but evidence suggests that overdiagnosis, with the advancement in detection methods and screening policies, is not the sole driver of the substantial increase of the incidence. However, the effect of environmental/lifestyle factors remains speculative other than that of radiation exposure at a young age. This review tries to give a balanced view of debated factors leading to the thyroid cancer epidemic, to offer some alternatives in understanding the controversies, and to suggest potential directions in the search of modifiable risk factors to help reduce thyroid cancer.