Certain risk factors may increase the incidence of diseases like cancer. At the same time risk factors don’t count for much.
A person with multiple risk factors may go unscathed and a person with no risk factor may develop the disease.
Also there is no proof to say that a disease was caused due to the risk factor or some other factor.
Also the severity of the disease may or may not be linked to the risk factors.
One such disease is thyroid cancer. The exact reasons for the occurrence of the disease are not known, but certain risk factors are known to increase the chances of a person being afflicted with the disease.
Exposure to radiation: If a person has been exposed to radiation the chance of developing thyroid cancer are high. This could have been an occupational hazard, an accident or even therapeutic irradiation.
Radiation fallouts like accidents and even nuclear tests have radioactive iodine as a component. This increases the risk of thyroid cancer among people who have been exposed to this radiation. Patients who have been treated for other cancers have a high risk profile.
Low iodine diet: Follicular thyroid cancer incidents are high in groups which have a diet with insufficient iodine. This is why iodine is added to salt and other foods in the United States. Also if a person with insufficient dietary iodine is exposed to radiation, they are at risk of developing papillary cancer.
Gender: For reasons unknown, women are three times more likely to have thyroid cancer than men.
Age: The age group of 20 – 50 years is more exposed to the disease when compared to younger or older people.
Race: White Caucasians are at a higher risk than people from other races.
Genes and hereditary: People with family history of thyroid cancer are more at risk. Also some people worth a certain genetic makeup are more exposed to the chances of developing thyroid cancer than others.
Hashimoto’s thyroid: Patients suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroid are more exposed to the chance of developing thyroid cancer. In fact the chances are as high as three times those of a normal person.
Gardner syndrome: Patients suffering from Gardner syndrome have shown sporadic case of thyroid cancer. A study shows that women younger than thirty five and suffering from Gardner’s syndrome are 160 times more at risk of developing thyroid cancer.
These are only indicative of the possible risk factors for thyroid cancer. A person exposed to these risks may or may not develop the cancer and on the other hand a person with no risk factor may end up with this disease.