Thyroid Cancer Inherited Risk

Factors that increase risk

  • Age. The risk of thyroid cancer peaks earlier for women than men. Women who are diagnosed are usually in their 40s or 50s, whereas men are usually in their 60s or 70s.
  • Gender. Thyroid cancer occurs about 3 times more often in women than in men.
  • Diet. A diet low in iodine may increase a person’s risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • Exposure to radiation. Exposure to radiation is a proven risk factor for thyroid cancer. Sources of such radiation include certain medical treatments and radiation fallout from power plant accidents or nuclear weapons.

Inherited thyroid cancer clues

Most people who develop thyroid cancer do not have an inherited condition or a family history of the disease. Still, having a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, or child) with thyroid cancer increases your risk of thyroid cancer.