After blogging last month about my experience with thyroid problems as well as coeliac disease, a new study being tweeted round has come as a bit of a worry to me – thank goodness my thyroid is coming out next month!
The study, carried out in Italy, has identified that “There is a 2.5-fold increased risk of papillary cancer of thyroid for celiac patients. A prompt diagnosis of CD and a strict adherence to gluten-free diet do not seem to protect from the development of this malignancy.”
The study comes after coeliac disease has long been linked to thyroid diseases, including over-active and under-active thyroids.
The study monitored 1757 coeliac patients diagnosed at the Collaborating Centers of the Italian Registry of Coeliac Disease between January 1st 1982 and December 31st 2006.
Out of the 1757 patients, 6 developed a papillary thyroid carcinoma (the most common form of thyroid cancer).
The average (mean) age of diagnosis of Coeliac Disease in patient who developed the thyroid cancer was around forty years old, characteristically quite a low age.
So what does this news mean for coeliac disease sufferers?
Although these are significant findings, especially for those who also suffer thyroid problems, my personal (and non-medically-educated) view is that although there does appear to be a link, it seems to be a relatively small one.
If 6 out of 1757 patients developed thyroid cancer, then that still means that 1751 out of 1757 didn’t.
I know I sound sceptical, but with so many things supposed to give us cancer, forgive me if I am a little dubious of such a small link.
It is a worrying thought, and it does make me greatful that I am having my thyroid removed next month, but should we be worrying about it if a gluten free diet has absolutely no influence on the link between CD and thyroid cancer at all?
What can we actually do about this? Are you worried by this link? Share your views and comment below!