Worldwide, rates of thyroid cancer have gone way up. Is there an epidemic of this kind of cancer though? Statistics from the World Health Organization study show that in Korea, thyroid cancers have risen 90%. In the United States, Australia and France, the increase is at about 80%. How can there be such a rapid rise in this particular cancer?
Some experts believe it's the new medical technologies that allow cancers to be picked up earlier. 3D ultrasounds, CT scans and advanced MRI scans are all picking up thyroid tumors at an earlier stage. It's also a matter of classification say some. In some patients, the presence of small slow growing cancers are "over diagnosed" because they really are not that aggressive. Reclassifying these cases as non-cancerous would take rates down. Other forms of cancer are being looked at as well to see if some cases might be better treated with watchful waiting instead of surgery, chemo and radiation.