• papillary thyroid cancer;
  • incidence rates;
  • nativity;
  • Hispanic women;
  • cancer surveillance



Overall, the incidence of papillary thyroid cancer in Hispanic women residing in the United States (US) is similar to that of non-Hispanic white women. However, little is known as to whether rates in Hispanic women vary by nativity, which may influence exposure to important risk factors.


Nativity-specific incidence rates among Hispanic women were calculated for papillary thyroid cancer using data from the California Cancer Registry (CCR) for the period 1988-2004. For the 35% of cases for whom birthplace information was not available from the CCR, nativity was statistically imputed based on age at Social Security number issuance. Population estimates were extracted based on US Census data. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were also estimated.


In young (age <55 years) Hispanic women, the incidence of papillary thyroid cancer among US-born women (10.65 per 100,000) was significantly greater than that for foreign-born women (6.67 per 100,000; IRR, 1.60 [95% CI, 1.44-1.77]). The opposite pattern was observed in older women. The age-specific patterns showed marked differences by nativity: among foreign-born women, rates increased slowly until age 70 years, whereas among US-born women, incidence rates peaked during the reproductive years. Incidence rates increased over the study period in all subgroups.


Incidence rates of papillary thyroid cancer vary by nativity and age among Hispanic women residing in California. These patterns can provide insight for future etiologic investigations of modifiable risk factors for this increasingly common and understudied cancer. Cancer 2012;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.