The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against screening for thyroid cancer among asymptomatic adults.1

The USPSTF stated that there was inadequate direct evidence for the benefits of screening. Any benefits associated with screening and treatment vs no screening appeared to be small.

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There was also inadequate direct evidence of harms of screening, though the USPSTF stated that the overall harm is likely at least moderate.

“Clinicians should understand the evidence but individualize decision making to the specific patient or situation,” wrote the USPSTF.

The Grade D recommendation statement and evidence summary are published in JAMA.2,3

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The rarity of thyroid cancer, according to the USPSTF’s article in JAMA, as well as the “apparent” lack of benefit for patients who are treated for their disease rather than monitored, were factors leading to this recommendation.

More information can be found on the USPSTF website.


  1. US Preventive Services Task Force. Thyroid Cancer: Screening. Accessed May 9, 2017.
  2. US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for thyroid cancer: US Preventative Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2017;317:1882-7.
  3. Lin JS, Aiello Bowles EJ, Williams SB, Morrison CC. Screening for thyroid cancer: updated evidence report and systematic review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. 2017;317:1888-903.