Lisa Peterson

Understanding Thyroid Cancer Among Metropolitan Detroit Women

ABSTRACT: The incidence of thyroid cancer varies by geographic region. For women living in the Gulf countries of the Middle East, thyroid cancer is frequent. It is the second most common recorded neoplasm among Kuwaiti women (Memon 2002). Thyroid cancer is a relatively rare cancer among women in the United States. In 2006, thyroid cancer was the eighth most common malignancy among women (NCI 2006). Yet the incidence rate of thyroid cancer among American women has been increasing in recent years. Little is known about the risk factors for thyroid cancer. This study proposes to understand how the development of thyroid cancer is influenced by genetics and the environment by examining Metropolitan Detroit Arab Americans to determine how immigration affects the incidence of thyroid cancer. Ninety Arab American and White non-Arab women diagnosed with thyroid cancer between 2000 and 2006 living in Metropolitan Detroit will be identified by the Metropolitan Detroit Cancer Surveillance System (MDCSS) SEER Registry. A 2:1 case-case comparison will be done. Data will be collected on ancestry, workplace, diet, physical activity, personal and family medical history, and social exposures. To compare the potential risk factors between the two ethnic groups, a chi-squared analysis for categorical data and a test of means for continuous data will be used. If the risk of thyroid cancer is influenced more by genetic factors than environmental factors, the incidence of thyroid cancer for Arab Americans will be similar to that of Middle Eastern Arabs. If the incidence of thyroid cancer among Arab Americans is not comparable to that of Middle Eastern Arabs, then it will be important to understand the environmental factors that influence the development of thyroid cancer. It is expected that the preliminary data from this study will generate hypotheses leading to a larger study to further explain the difference in thyroid cancer incidence between the two ethnic groups.

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