Maarit Laaksonen leads world-first study into future thyroid cancer burden in Australia

Date: 

Tuesday, 7th December 2021


Associate Professor Maarit Laaksonen has led a world-first study to evaluate future thyroid cancer burden.

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, found that one in five future thyroid cancers in Australia is attributable to current levels of overweight and obesity. 

The research reveals that avoiding excess weight, especially obesity, should be a priority for thyroid cancer prevention, in the first study to evaluate future thyroid cancer burden in Australia.

A/Prof Laaksonen is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics. She says the findings are concerning as the prevalence of obesity in Australia has doubled during the last two decades, with 75% of Australian men and 60% of Australian women being overweight or obese.

“This finding translates to close to 10,000 thyroid cancers in the next 10 years,” A/Prof Laaksonen says. “Obesity explains 75% of this burden in Australia.”

A/Prof Laaksonen says this is the first time a study has evaluated the thyroid cancer burden attributable to current levels of overweight and obesity, and compared this burden by sex.

  • Read the full article about Dr Laaksonen's research via UNSW Newsroom.