Thyroid Cancer Incidence in India between 2006 and 2014 and Impact of Overdiagnosis

Chiara Panato, Salvatore Vaccarella, Luigino Dal Maso, Partha Basu, Silvia Franceschi, Diego Serraino, Kevin Wang, Feitong Lei, Quan Chen, Bin Huang, Aju Mathew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Context/Objective: Increases of thyroid cancer (TC) incidence emerged in the past several decades in several countries. This study aimed to estimate time trends of TC incidence in India and the proportion of TC cases potentially attributable to overdiagnosis by sex, age, and area. Design: TC cases aged 0 to 74 years reported to Indian cancer registries during 2006 through 2014 were included. Age-standardized incidence rates (ASR) and TC overdiagnosis were estimated by sex, period, age, and area. Results: Between 2006 to 2008 and 2012 to 2014, the ASRs for TC in India increased from 2.5 to 3.5/100,000 women (+37%) and from 1.0 to 1.3/100,000 men (+27%). However, up to a 10-fold difference was found among regions in both sexes. Highest ASRs emerged in Thiruvananthapuram (14.6/100,000 women and 4.1/100,000 men in 2012-2014), with 93% increase in women and 64% in men compared with 2006 to 2008. No evidence of overdiagnosis was found in Indian men. Conversely, overdiagnosis accounted for 51% of TC in Indian women: 74% in those aged < 35 years, 50% at ages 35 to 54 years, and 30% at ages 55 to 64 years. In particular, 80% of TC overdiagnosis in women emerged in Thiruvananthapuram, whereas none or limited evidence of overdiagnosis emerged in Kamrup, Dibrugarh, Bhopal, or Sikkim. Conclusions: Relatively high and increasing TC ASRs emerged in Indian regions where better access to health care was reported. In India, as elsewhere, new strategies are needed to discourage opportunistic screening practice, particularly in young women, and to avoid unnecessary and expensive treatments. Present results may serve as a warning also for other transitioning countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdgaa192
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 9 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Endocrine Society 2020. All rights reserved.


  • India
  • Thyroid cancer
  • incidence
  • overdiagnosis
  • time trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


Dive into the research topics of 'Thyroid Cancer Incidence in India between 2006 and 2014 and Impact of Overdiagnosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this