Benign Breast Diseases Associated with Thyroid Disorders

AUGUST 13, 2015
Women with nodular thyroid disease (NTD) or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) face a higher risk of developing benign breast diseases, such as fibrocystic breast changes, the results of a recent study have indicated.

The study, published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, enrolled 71 patients with NTD and 95 patients with HT; 72 participants who were free of both conditions served as the control group. The research team measured the participants’ serum thyroid-stimulating hormone, free triiodothyronine, free thyroxine, and thyroid peroxidase autoantibody levels, and performed a thyroid and breast ultrasonography on the patients to evaluate their thyroid and breast pathology.

The researchers detected benign breast diseases in 54.9% of patients with NTD and 47.4% of participants with HT compared with 29.2% of those in the control group. The most frequently discovered benign breast disease among study participants was simple cyst, followed by fibrocystic breast changes, mixed lesions, benign solid mass, ductal ectasia, and complex cyst. However, the researchers found no significant relationship between thyroid function and autoimmunity in patients given a diagnosis of benign breast disease.

“The results of our study support the association between benign breast diseases and thyroid diseases,” the study authors wrote. “An important implication of this finding may be demonstration of the necessity of scanning for potential breast pathology in women with nodular or autoimmune thyroid disease in clinical practice.”

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