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Pregnancy as a risk factor for thyroid cancer progression

Rakhlin, Lubaa; Fish, Stephanieb

Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity: October 2018 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 326–329
doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000424
THYROID: Edited by Lewis E. Braverman and Angela M. Leung

Purpose of review The current review evaluates the impact of pregnancy on women with thyroid cancer in three different clinical situations: those with newly diagnosed differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC), those under active surveillance for papillary thyroid microcarcinomas (PMCs), and those with previously treated DTC.

Recent findings Recent pregnancy is not associated with high-risk pathological features of DTC. In women with known PMCs under active surveillance, pregnancy does not increase the risk of disease progression. Thus, deferring surgery for newly diagnosed DTC or known PMCs until after delivery is safe for both mother and the unborn child. If a woman with previously treated DTC is planning pregnancy, response-to-therapy status is an excellent guide for predicting pregnancy-associated disease progression or recurrence.

Summary Clinical studies consistently show that pregnancy is not associated with significant disease progression in newly diagnosed thyroid cancer, PMCs under active surveillance, or previously treated DTC.

aDivision of Endocrinology, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn

bDepartment of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA

Correspondence to Luba Rakhlin, MD, Division of Endocrinology, Maimonides Medical Center, 984 50th Street, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11219, USA. Tel: +1 718 283 5923; fax: +1 718 635 7640; e-mail:

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