A risk factor is any factor that is associated with an increased chance of developing a particular health condition, such as thyroid cancer. There are different types of risk factors, some of which can be modified and some that cannot.
Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk.
Although the causes of thyroid cancer are not fully understood, there are a number of factors associated with the risk of developing the disease. These factors include:
- being female
- exposure to radiation
- a family history of thyroid disease or thyroid cancer
- certain genetic conditions, such as familial medullary thyroid cancer (FMTC), multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A syndrome, and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B syndrome
- having a history of goitre (enlarged thyroid).
If you have any of these risk factors or are concerned about your risk for thyroid cancer, please see your doctor.