Just before the run of the century, the South Korean government began a national program of cancer screening about 15 years, including cancers of the breast, cervix, colon, stomach and liver. Doctors and hospitals added ultrasound scans for thyroid cancer for a small additional fee.
What they have discovered in the last 15 years has alarmed some specialists in the field. The incidence of thyroid cancer has increased by 15 times and surpassed lung, breast and colon cancers. Thyroid cancer is the most common cancer in the nation.
However, many thyroid cancers are slow growing and easy to treat. In fact, some studies have shown almost one-third of autopsies show that people have thyroid cancers that were undetected throughout their life and were not the cause of death. Occasionally the best response to a report of thyroid cancer is to do nothing after consulting with an expert ENT physician.
In the United States, doctors caution against extreme treatment of many thyroid cancers. Few people die of thyroid cancer. Specialists at the ENT Center can help diagnose thyroid cancer and the appropriate response to any screenings.
See a full report of this story in the New York Times.