Friday, February 12, 2016

Overactive thyroid increases breast cancer risk

CANCER DIGEST – Feb. 12, 2016 – Women with overactive thyroids have an 11 percent increased risk of breast cancer according to a study of Danish health registry records. 

The study led by Mette S√łgaard, MD, of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, analyzed the records of 61,873 Danish women diagnosed with below normal levels of the hormone thyroxine (hypothyroidism) and 80,343 women diagnosed with higher than normal
levels of thyroxine (hyperthyroidism) to see if thyroid hormone levels affect breast cancer risk.

The women whose records were included in the study had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism between 1978 and 2013. They found that among women whose hyperthyroidism persisted for more than five years had a slightly (11%)  increased risk of breast cancer compared to the general population, and if they had hypothyroidism they had a slightly (6%) lower risk than the general population.  

The thyroid gland is an organ located in the front of your neck and releases hormones that control your metabolism. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is overactive and makes excessive amounts of thyroid hormone, which can affect energy, breathing, heart rate, nervous system, weight, body temperature, and many other functions in the body, according to the endocrineweb.com. Hypothyroidism results from insufficient thyroid hormone and can cause fatigue, weakness, weight gain and other metabolism-related conditions.

The study confirms findings of three earlier studies linking elevated thyroid levels to increased breast cancer risk, and contradicted a forth study that found decreased thyroid levels with increased breast cancer risk.

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