Cancer Epidemiology

Trends of Thyroid Cancer in Israel: 1980–2012

Lital Keinan-Boker and Barbara G. Silverman


Objectives: Thyroid cancer incidence is increasing worldwide, while mortality from thyroid cancer is stable or decreasing. Consequently, survival rates are rising. We describe time trends in the incidence, mortality, and 5-year survival of thyroid cancer in Israel in 1980–2012, in light of the global trends. Methods: Israel National Cancer Registry database provided information regarding thyroid cancer incidence and vital status, which enabled computation of survival rates. The Central Bureau of Statistics database provided information on thyroid cancer mortality. Incidence and mortality rates were age-adjusted and presented by population group (Jews/Arabs) and gender. Relative 5-year survival rates which account for the general population survival in the corresponding time period were presented by population group and gender. Joinpoint analyses were used to assess incidence trends over time. Results: In 1980–2012 significant increases in the incidence of thyroid cancer were observed, with an annual percent change (APC) range of 3.98–6.93, driven almost entirely by papillary carcinoma (APCs 5.75–8.86), while rates of other types of thyroid cancer remained stable or decreased. Furthermore, higher rates of early detection were noted. In 1980–2012, a modest reduction in thyroid cancer mortality was observed in Jewish women (APC –1.07) with no substantial change in Jewish men. The 5-year relative survival after thyroid cancer diagnosis has increased to ≥90% in both population groups and both genders. Conclusions: The Israeli secular trends of thyroid cancer incidence (increasing), mortality (mostly stable), and survival (modestly increasing) closely follow reported global trends.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2016;7(1):e0001