Thyroid Disease & Breast Cancer

Thyroid Disease & Breast Cancer

Breastlink surgeon Dr. Nimmi Kapoor talks about her medical background and how she became interested in thyroid disease and breast cancer.

Dr. Kapoor’s interest in thyroid disease began before her interest in breast cancer. In college, she studied endocrine diseases. She worked in a lab examining sexual differentiation in zebra finches. It introduced her to hormonal pathways, which she found fascinating because by studying them, you can learn how to monitor and control the body’s operation based on the endocrine system. The breast is an endocrine organ and is sensitive to the hormones in our body. Breast changes are often the result of hormonal changes.

During her two years of basic science research in the lab, she realized many of the genetic changes in thyroid cancer overlap with many of the changes seen in breast cancer. The methods used to differentiate between benign and malignant cancers in thyroid nodules are the same ones used in breast cancer treatment, because breast cancer has a genetic pathway. There is actually a connection between the risk of thyroid cancer and breast cancer. Many women diagnosed with breast cancer are often diagnosed with thyroid cancer later on. Doctors still don’t understand the link between them, but Dr. Kapoor thinks it may be genetic. Women with the PTEN mutation often develop both breast and thyroid cancer, which is the reason why Dr. Kapoor always performs a thyroid exam when she performs a breast exam.

To learn more about Dr. Kapoor, Breastlink, and breast cancer, visit our website:


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