Causes & Risk Factors

Does Hysterectomy Boost Immune Cancer Risk?

January 6, 2018

According to a Finnish study study published in 2003, a woman’s chance of developing thyroid cancer could possibly be doubled in the first 18 months following the hysterectomy surgery. The researchers found that girls who had a hysterectomy were twice as likely as other women to be diagnosed with thyroid cancer within 6 weeks to 18 months after the surgery.

The authors mention that the probability of thyroid cancer likely increases as a consequence of the conditions that cause a woman to undergo hysterectomy, rather than from the procedure itself.

According to the study, the possibility of thyroid cancer among women who underwent hysterectomy was almost 40 percent higher than average, but the dangers drop considerably more than 18 months post-surgery.

The researchers have claimed that they don’t believe that hysterectomy itself caused increased risk of thyroid cancer. Instead, there seems to be some sort of connection or shared history between the reason behind the hysterectomy–often, benign tumors called uterine fibroids or excessive menstrual bleeding– and thyroid cancer.

More Research

In a study titled”Long-term cancer hazard after hysterectomy on benign implications: population based cohort study,” which was accepted for publication by the International Journal of Cancer in 2016, Swedish researcher more commonly examine the incidence of cancer among people who receive hysterectomy for benign causes.

The investigators note that previous research has demonstrated an elevated risk of women developing not just thyroid cancer following hysterectomy but in addition ovarian and renal (kidney) cancer. This higher risk is shown in women with hysterectomy who do not have bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO), or removal of the uterus.

Apparently, when the ovaries stay in the body, the hormones they create might be connected to the development of cancer.

Here are a Few of the researcher’s findings according to a population study:

  • For both women with hysterectomy independently and hysterectomy with BSO, there has been a marginal overall decrease in the probability of all types of cancer.
  • For the two women with hysterectomy alone and hysterectomy with BSO, there was an increase in the probability of thyroid and brain cancer.
  • For both women with hysterectomy independently and hysterectomy with BSO, there wasn’t any increase in the risk of breast, lung or gastrointestinal cancer.

Please note once more that the Swedish girls studied by the investigators had hysterectomy for reasons other than cancer.

The Swiss researchers conclude that hysterectomy both with and without BSO probably does not increase risk of cancer with a more general mechanism but instead has something to do with hormones.

What Can an Association Between Cancer Hysterectomy and Cancer Mean?

Please remember that the above research employs relative risks to explain an association between hysterectomy and cancer. In other words, even if the risk is raised, it’s very possible that only small numbers of women really develop thyroid cancer following hysterectomy.

In summary, if your doctor confirms that you need a hysterectomy, then you still need to follow his or her advice despite worries about increased cancer risk. But it may be a fantastic idea to keep the above research in mind in the months and months following surgery.

Especially, you must be conscious of any changes in your body which may indicate thyroid affects or thyroid gland. By way of instance, thyroid enlargement, hoarseness, neck sensitivity, or tenderness in the throat can all be symptoms of thyroid nodules or cancer. If you become aware of any changes on your thyroid, follow-up with your physician immediately.

You should also think of making certain that a complete thyroid panel–TSH, Free T4, and Free T3 evaluations –are done annually following hysterectomy, to make certain that any growing thyroid conditions are not overlooked.