Background Incidence rates of thyroid cancer (TC) increased in several countries during the last 30 years, while mortality rates remained unchanged, raising important questions for treatment and follow-up of TC patients. This study updates population-based estimates of relative survival (RS) after TC diagnosis in Europe by sex, country, age, period and histology. Methods Data from 87 cancer registries in 29 countries were extracted from the EUROCARE-5 dataset. One- and 5-year RS were estimated using the cohort approach for 86,690 adult TC patients diagnosed in 2000–2007 and followed-up to 12/31/2008. RS trends in 1999–2007 and 10-year RS in 2005–2007 were estimated using the period approach. Results In Europe 2000–2007, 5-year RS after TC was 88% in women and 81% in men. Survival rates varied by country and were strongly correlated (Pearson ρ = 75%) with country-specific incidence rates. Five-year RS decreased with age (in women from >95% at age 15–54 to 57% at age 75+), from 98% in women and 94% in men with papillary TC to 14% in women and 12% in men with anaplastic TC. Proportion of papillary TC varied by country and increased over time, while survival rates were similar across areas and periods. In 1999–2007, 5-year RS increased by five percentage points for all TCs but only by two for papillary and by four for follicular TC. Ten-year RS in 2005–2007 was 89% in women and 79% in men. Conclusions The reported increasing TC survival trend and differences by area are mainly explained by the varying histological case-mix of cases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Pages (from-to)140-152
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2017

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)


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