Reducing your risk for thyroid cancer
You may lower your risk of developing thyroid cancer by doing the following.
Have a healthy body weight
Research shows that obesity increases your risk for thyroid cancer. You can lower your risk by having a healthy body weight. Eating well and being physically active can help you have a healthy body weight.
Avoid unnecessary contact with radiation
Talk to your doctor or dentist about the need for each imaging test. When you need an imaging test like an x-ray, make sure that your doctor or dentist uses shields to protect your head, neck and body from radiation.
Eat vegetables and fruit
Eating a variety of vegetables each day probably protects against thyroid cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables belong to the cabbage family and include broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Some studies show that eating very large amounts of cruciferous vegetables may increase the risk of developing thyroid cancer. Other studies show that cruciferous vegetables may not be any different than other types of vegetables.
Find out if you’re at high risk for thyroid cancer
Some people can have a higher than average risk for thyroid cancer. Talk to your doctor about your risk. If you are at higher than average risk, you may need to visit your doctor more often to check for thyroid cancer. Your doctor will recommend what tests you should have and how often you should have them. This may include genetic risk assessment and testing, especially when there is a family history of medullary thyroid cancer.
A thyroidectomy is surgery to completely remove the thyroid. It may be offered to people who have a genetic condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN2). Removing the thyroid can help reduce their risk of developing medullary thyroid cancer.
Find out more about genetic testing.
More information about reducing your risk of cancer
Learn how cancer can be prevented and what you can do to reduce your risk.
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.