Scientists have recognized two genetic variations that account for fifty-seven percent of cases of thyroid cancer. A team of scientists led by Julius Gudmundsson stated that the two variants are on the human genome near the genes that control growth of the thyroid gland. The variants are changes in a single chemical unit of the genome, which is about three billion units in length. The study was led among those of European descent, and it was found that approximately four percent of the people had both variants. Scientists did not have information on other ethnicities. Each year in the United States, there are about 35,000 cases of thyroid cancer, with about 1,500 deaths.
Since the price of genetic testing is reasonably high, and the number of deaths are pretty low, it is not worth screening the entire population for the two new variants. The test could be useful for individuals at high risk, such as families that have a history of thyroid cancer. Having a first generation relative, such as a parent, brother, sister, or child, with thyroid cancer, increases an individuals risk of thyroid cancer. These tests can lead to an earlier detection for those who are at a high risk of thyroid cancer, saving the lives of many human beings.
This article was very fascinating. I am glad scientists found the link to thyroid cancer. I am extremely happy that scientists are trying to develop new and cost-effective methods to screen individuals for the two new variants. This will save the lives of many individuals.