Endocrine Abstracts (2007) 14 P319

Epidemiology of thyroid cancer in the north eastern region of Poland

Anna Zonenberg1, Beata Telejko1, Agnieszka Nikolajuk1, Mikolaj Rybaczuk2, Janusz Dzieciol3, Lech Zimnoch4, Maciej Kokoszko5, Jacek Dadan5, Mieczyslaw Wasielica6, Jacek Borawski1, Zbigniew Puchalski5, Marzena Juczewska7, Ida Kinalska1 & Maria Gorska1


1Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Internal Medicine, Medical University, Bialystok, Poland; 2Department of Business, Informatics and Logistics, Technical University, Bialystok, Poland; 3Department of Human Anatomy, Medical University, Bialystok, Poland; 4Department of Clinical Pathomorphology, Medical University, Bialystok, Poland; 5Department of General Surgery, Medical University, Bialystok, Poland; 6Voivodship Hospital, Bialystok, Poland; 7Oncological Hospital, Bialystok, Poland.


Before the introduction of mandatory salt iodination in 1997 the North-Eastern Region of Poland was known to be a moderate iodine deficiency area. Moreover, it was one of the mostly contaminated regions after the Chernobyl accident in 1986. The aim of our study was to evaluate the descriptive epidemiological features of incident thyroid cancers diagnosed among the residents of this area between 1996 and 2005. The Regional Cancer Surveillance Program was used to collect data on 691 newly diagnosed thyroid cancers registered during a 10–year period. The average annual incidence of all types of thyroid cancer per 100 000 residents rose from 3.9 in 1996 to 5.5 in 2005 (mean – 5.8 cases per 100 000 inhabitants). Thyroid cancer was more frequently diagnosed in women (82%) than in men. The majority of all cases was diagnosed in the age group of 46–55 years. There were 12 newly diagnosed cancers in children under 15 years of age (3 cases among children born after the Chernobyl disaster). The commonest histological type was papillary carcinoma (74.5%). Follicular type accounted for 10.9%, oxyphilic – 5.4%, medullar - 4.5%, anaplastic - 3.0% and other types – for 1.7% of cases. Conclusion: The increased incidence of thyroid cancers between 1996 and 2005 is most likely explained by the improvement in diagnostic techniques, but the effect of ionizing radiation after the Chernobyl accident has also to be taken into account. The influence of iodine deficiency seems to be a less probable factor in view of the predominance of the papillary type of carcinoma.