Newswise — African Americans exhibit a significantly lower rate of thyroid cancer than white Americans, raising some significant questions about whether detection efforts in blacks are insufficient, according to a new study.

The research, first presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation's Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Washington, DC, shows the incidence of thyroid cancer in black Americans is half that of white Americans.

The thyroid cancer trend is contrary to other types of cancers in black Americans, who are more likely than other ethnic groups to develop cancer and die from it. Using the National Cancer Institute's SEER database and the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality's HCUP database, the authors determined that since 1973, instances of thyroid cancer in whites increased by over 150 percent, while instances among blacks over the same period increased by only 73 percent; it would take an extra 1,800 cases of thyroid cancer a year in blacks to equalize the rates. The study also determined that black patients tend to be diagnosed at an older age and with larger tumors.

Patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer were also less likely to be uninsured, and more likely to live in wealthier areas (based on ZIP codes).

The authors believe that more aggressive detection efforts in blacks could result in increases in diagnoses compared with what is currently being reported. They also suggest that further research in to the genetic and environmental basis for this difference is warranted.

Title: Racial Patterns of Thyroid Cancer Incidence in the U.S.Authors: Luc G.T. Morris, MD; Andrew G. Sikora, MD, PhD; David J. Myssiorek, MD; Mark D. DeLacure, MDDate: Monday, September 17, 2007, 8:10 AM - 8:18 AM

Information for the Media: The AAO-HNS Annual Meeting newsroom will be located in Registration East, Street Level of the Washington, DC Convention Center. Hours of operation: Saturday, September 15, 12 pm to 5 pm; Sunday - Tuesday, September 16 -18, 7:30 am to 5 pm; and Wednesday, September 19, 7:30 am to 2 pm. The newsroom serves as a work space for credentialed members of the media and credentialed public relations staff. The newsroom is managed and staffed by the AAO-HNS Communications Unit. Please see the AAO-HNS website for media credentialing requirements for the event -

About the AAO-HNSThe American Academy of Otolaryngology " Head and Neck Surgery (, one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents more than 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's mission: "Working for the Best Ear, Nose, and Throat Care."

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2007 AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO