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Do Men Suffer from Thyroid Disease and Thyroid Cancer? Let’s look at the Numbers

Updated: May 27

Thyroid disease and thyroid cancer are often associated more with women than men. However, this perception can be misleading, as men are also susceptible to thyroid conditions. Let's delve into the prevalence of thyroid disease and thyroid cancer in men and understand the numbers.

 

Thyroid Disease in Men

Thyroid disease encompasses conditions like hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), goiter (enlarged thyroid), and thyroid nodules. While women are more commonly diagnosed with thyroid disorders, men can and do get them as well.

According to the American Thyroid Association, approximately 12% of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. While this number leans towards women due to conditions like Hashimoto's thyroiditis and thyroid nodules being more common in females, it doesn't exclude men.

 

According to the American Thyroid Association

 About 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. Out of this number:

 

  • Women: Approximately 12% of women will develop a thyroid disorder in their lifetime.

  • Men: About 3% of men will develop a thyroid disorder in their lifetime.

 

 

Given the U.S. population which is around 331 million people, we can estimate:

- Women: Approximately 39.72 million women in the U.S. have or will develop a thyroid disorder.

- Men: Approximately 9.93 million men in the U.S. have or will develop a thyroid disorder.

These numbers can vary based on updated statistics and research, but this gives a general idea of the prevalence of thyroid disease among men in the United States.

 

Thyroid Cancer in Men

Thyroid cancer is less common than other thyroid conditions, but it can still affect men. The incidence of thyroid cancer has been rising in recent years, affecting both men and women.

The American Cancer Society estimates that about 52,070 new cases of thyroid cancer (40,480 in women and 11,590 in men) will be diagnosed in 2022 in the United States. While women are more likely to develop thyroid cancer, it's essential to recognize that men can also be diagnosed with this form of cancer.

 

Why the Difference in Numbers?

Several factors contribute to the disparity in thyroid disease and cancer between men and women:

 

1. Hormonal Differences: Women are more susceptible to autoimmune thyroid diseases due to hormonal fluctuations, especially during pregnancy and menopause.

2. Awareness and Screening: Thyroid disorders in men might go undiagnosed longer due to lower awareness and less frequent screening.

3. Genetics: Some thyroid conditions have a genetic predisposition, which can affect both men and women differently.

 

Symptoms Men Should Watch For

Men should be aware of the following symptoms, which could indicate a thyroid issue:

 

- Fatigue

- Weight changes

- Muscle weakness

- Mood changes

- Difficulty swallowing

- Neck swelling or lumps

- Changes in heart rate




 


 












Screening and Diagnosis

It's crucial for men to undergo thyroid screening if they experience symptoms or have risk factors. Thyroid function tests, including TSH, T3, and T4 levels, can help diagnose thyroid disorders. Additionally, ultrasound and biopsy may be used to diagnose thyroid nodules or cancer.

 

Conclusion

While thyroid disease and thyroid cancer are more commonly associated with women, men are not immune. Understanding the symptoms and risks associated with thyroid conditions can help men seek timely diagnosis and treatment. With the right awareness and screening, men can manage thyroid disorders effectively and improve their quality of life.

If you suspect you or a loved one might have a thyroid issue, consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Remember, early detection and treatment can make a significant difference in managing thyroid disease and thyroid cancer, irrespective of gender.

 

REFERENCES:

  • American Thyroid Association. (n.d.).

  • General Information/Press Room. Retrieved from [American Thyroid Association](https://www.thyroid.org/)

  • American Cancer Society. (2022). Key Statistics for Thyroid Cancer. Retrieved from [American Cancer Society](https://www.cancer.org/)

 

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