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BMC Cancer

, 6:102

First Online: 24 April 2006Received: 10 January 2006Accepted: 24 April 2006DOI: 10.1186-1471-2407-6-102

Cite this article as: Scheiden, R., Keipes, M., Bock, C. et al. BMC Cancer 2006 6: 102. doi:10.1186-1471-2407-6-102


BackgroundTwenty years after the nuclear accident in Chernobyl Eastern Europe, there is still a controversial debate concerning a possible effect of the radioactive iodines, especially I-131, on the increase of thyroid carcinomas TCs in Western Europe. Time trends in incidence rates of TC in Luxembourg in comparison with other European countries and its descriptive epidemiology were investigated.

MethodsThe population-based data of the national Morphologic Tumour Registry collecting new thyroid cancers diagnosed between 1983 and 1999 at a nation-wide level in the central division of pathology were reviewed and focused on incidence rates of TC. Data from 1990 to 1999 were used to evaluate the distribution by gender, age, histological type, tumour size and the outcome.

ResultsOut of 310 new thyroid carcinomas diagnosed between 1990 and 1999, 304 differentiated carcinomas A: 80% papillary; B: 14.5% follicular; C: 3.5% medullary and 6 anaplastic-undifferentiated TCs D: 2% were evaluated. The M-F-ratio was 1:3.2, the mean age 48.3 years range: 13–92. The overall age-standardized world population incidence rates over the two 5-year periods 1990–1994 and 1995–1999 increased from 7.4 per 100,000 to 10.1 per 100,000 in females, from 2.3 per 100,000 to 3.6 per 100,000 in males. Only 3 patients were children or adolescents 1%, the majority of the patients 50% were between 45 and 69 years of age. The percentage of microcarcinomas <1 cm was A: 46.4%, 115-248; B: 13.3%, 6-45; C: 27.3%, 3-11. The unexpected increase of TCs in 1997 was mainly due to the rise in the number of microcarcinomas. The observed 5-year survival rates for both genders were A: 96.0+-2%; B: 88.9%; C: 90.9%; D: 0%. Prognosis was good in younger patients, worse in males and elderly, and extremely poor for undifferentiated TCs.

ConclusionThe increasing incidence rates of TC, especially of the papillary type, seem mainly due to a rise in diagnosed microcarcinomas due to some extent to a change in histologic criteria and to more efficient diagnostic tools. This rise appears to be independent of the number of surgical treatments, the immigration rate, and the Chernobyl fallout as the incidence of TC in children remained stable.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2407-6-102 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: René Scheiden - Marc Keipes - Carlo Bock - Walter Dippel - Nelly Kieffer - Catherine Capesius


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