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Mary Shomon

Higher TSH Levels Associated with Higher Risk of Thyroid Cancer

By April 24, 2008

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Researchers reporting in the March issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism looked at the connection between TSH level and the diagnosis of a differentiated thyroid cancer. The study looked at the pre- and post-operative TSH levels of more than 800 thyroid surgery patients. Among the patients, 29% had differentiated thyroid cancer. The likelihood of malignancy was 16% when TSH was less than 0.06 vs. 52% when the TSH was 5.00 or greater. When TSH was between 0.40 and 1.39, the likelihood of malignancy was 25% vs. 35% when TSH was between 1.40 and 4.99 . The mean TSH was 4.9 in patients with more advanced stage III/IV disease vs. 2.1 in patients with the earlier stage I/II disease. The researchers concluded that the likelihood of thyroid cancer is higher in patients with higher TSH levels, even levels within the normal range. The researchers have suggested that more analysis of the role of TSH in differentiated thyroid cancer may help in thyroid cancer prevention, diagnosis, and management.

More on Thyroid Cancer

Source: Haymart, Megan et. al. "Higher Serum Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Level in Thyroid Nodule Patients Is Associated with Greater Risks of Differentiated Thyroid Cancer and Advanced Tumor Stage," The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol. 93, No. 3 809-814 Online

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