Access to Insurance May Be Reason for Rising Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis

Increased access to healthcare insurance may be the driving factor behind a rise in diagnosis of papillary thyroid cancer in the US.Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center reports:

The rapid increase in papillary thyroid cancer in the US, may not be linked to increase in occurrence, according to a head and neck surgeon at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, instead it may be linked to an increase in the diagnosis of pre-cancerous conditions and to a person's insurance status. That is the conclusion of a paper published in Thyroid, a peer reviewed journal of the American Thyroid Association, which included the research of Senior Author Louise Davies, MD, MS, The Veteran's Administration Outcomes Group, White River Junction, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and assistant professor of Surgery of The Dartmouth Institute.

"This work shows that access to health care is an important driver in the rising incidence of thyroid cancer," said Davies. "People with insurance are more likely to be diagnosed with thyroid cancer than those without insurance." In addition researchers found that higher education levels and higher rates of white collar employment were also associated with increased diagnosis rates.

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