This podcast highlights original research published in the March 2015 issue of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, the official journal of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) Foundation. Editor in chief John Krouse is joined by lead author Kyle Stansifer and associate editor Daniel Deschler in discussing the topic of modifiable risk factors in patients with thyroid cancers.
While it is well known that the risk of thyroid cancer can be increased by factors that may be outside of the patient’s control, such as exposure to ionizing radiation, the risks of common patient characteristics such as smoking, drinking, and BMI are not well appreciated. In the present study, the authors examined 467 patients with thyroid cancer from a single institutional database and compared them with a control group of 255 patients without thyroid cancer. Their analyses demonstrated that none of these modifiable factors were associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer among their sample of patients. Interestingly, while there was no relationship with obesity, there appeared to be a small, although statistically significant, reduction in risk among current alcohol users and smokers. While not recommending the use of these substances in an attempt to reduce thyroid cancer risk, the authors do point out some potential theoretical mechanisms that might explain these observations. The authors discuss the implications of their findings for clinical practice and further research.
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