Does Semaglutide Affect Your Thyroid and Cause Cancer?

The relationship between semaglutide and thyroid tumours is unclear from research. However, utilising this diabetes and weight reduction medicine may not be advised for those who have a history of thyroid cancer.

Semaglutide belongs to a group of drugs called GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) agonists. Semaglutide is marketed under the brand names Wegovy, Rybelsus, and Ozempic. Perhaps you are among the increasing number of individuals taking these drugs.

Every drug has potential side effects. Certain studies indicate that semaglutide may raise the risk of thyroid cancer.

Here's more information about potential links between semaglutide and thyroid health.

Has anyone gotten thyroid cancer from semaglutide?

A person's risk of acquiring cancer can be affected by a variety of circumstances. It can be challenging to determine what causes cancer. Thyroid tumours have been linked to semaglutide in investigations conducted on animals.

Although the same outcome was not observed in humans, semaglutide may nevertheless raise this risk. According to Semaglutide's safety profile, using the medication is not advised for anyone who has a personal or family history of certain thyroid malignancies.

In a 2022 study, semaglutide users in France had greater incidences of thyroid cancer than non-users, particularly after using the drug for one to three years.

A review of 2023 studies sought to investigate semaglutide's potential connection to cancers of all kinds. However, no link was discovered between semaglutide and a higher risk of cancer.

After reviewing the available data, the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) concluded in October 2023 that there is no connection between GLP-1 agonists and thyroid cancer.

Can you take Ozempic when you have cancer?

Your healthcare provider and you will talk about what to do with your current drugs if you are diagnosed with cancer. Some might be dropped.

Semaglutide is known to cause nausea, vomiting, and early satiety as side effects. Similar side effects from the disease and its treatment will also affect a large number of cancer patients. If continuing this drug may exacerbate those symptoms, it might not be wise.

According to a brief study published in 2023, semaglutide boosted the body's natural killer cell activity. By recognising and eliminating aberrant cancer cells, these cells may play a role in cancer prevention. Regarding cancer and its therapies, there is still a great deal to study and comprehend. Semaglutide is not now a common component of cancer treatment regimens.

How does Ozempic or other semaglutide meds affect your thyroid?

Thyroid tumours were produced by semaglutide in mouse experiments. Research on humans did not yield the same outcomes. Semaglutide safety information states that the medication should not be taken by anyone who has a personal or family history of certain thyroid tumours.

A 2022 review of the literature examined semaglutide use and its potential association with thyroid cancer and other thyroid disorders.

The following additional thyroid disorders were covered in the study:
  • Overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism
  • hypothyroidism (thyroid underactivity)
  • thyroiditis, or thyroid inflammation
  • thyroid mass (growths not malignant)
  • goitre, or enlarged thyroid
According to the study, using semaglutide did not raise the risk of any of those thyroid conditions.

Other semaglutide side effects

Beyond issues with thyroid function, semaglutide causes several adverse effects. Among them are:
  • reactions at injection sites
  • early feelings of fullness
  • slower digestion
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • increased burping
  • malnutrition as a result of eating infrequently
  • an elevated gallstone risk
Regarding a connection between semaglutide and pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer, research is contradictory. Semaglutide doesn't appear to raise the danger at this time, but more extensive research would be beneficial.

Who shouldn’t take semaglutide like Ozempic, or Rybelsus?

Choosing to begin or continue taking medicine is a big choice. It is sage to address any worries or inquiries with your healthcare provider.

Thyroid tumours were observed in animals during semaglutide research studies. This drug should not be used by anyone who has a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer. Such a malignancy is quite uncommon.

A lot of people found semaglutide's negative effects to be problematic. Please let your healthcare provider know if they're having an impact on your quality of life. You may not be a good candidate for this medication.

What happens if you get cancer after taking Ozempic?

Your doctor and you will talk about what to do if you do end up with cancer either during or after stopping Ozempic. If you're still on Ozempic, you can talk to your doctor about whether it makes sense to continue taking the drug or to stop.

To monitor any dangers associated with drugs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains a database of adverse events. The FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) is the name of this. You may choose to file a report with your healthcare provider or not, depending on your particular situation.

Survival rate and outlook

Medullary thyroid carcinoma is the type of malignancy observed in animal research involving semaglutide. It happens very infrequently. In the US, only over 1,000 people are diagnosed with this type of cancer annually.

Accurate survival data is difficult to come by because of its rarity. The tumor's size and the presence or absence of cancerous spread will determine how long a patient survives.

A lump in your throat is one of the symptoms of thyroid cancer. If the tumour is pressing on your vocal cords, you can start to notice changes in your voice. See your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you detect any changes in your breathing or voice.


The last few years have seen a sharp increase in the use of semaglutide. Like any medication, there are potential hazards at all times. Researchers discovered that semaglutide was the cause of rodent thyroid cancer. Human studies didn't show this.

You should not use semaglutide if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer. Semaglutide frequently causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and early fullness as adverse effects.

To ensure that semaglutide is the best option for you, make sure to share any worries or inquiries you may have with your healthcare provider.


What are the serious adverse effects of semaglutide?

Nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea.

Can semaglutide cause thyroid cancer?

may make you more susceptible to thyroid gland tumours, such as medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), a kind of thyroid cancer.

Is semaglutide a cancer risk?

Thyroid cancer has been linked to this medication in certain animal studies. If this occurs in people, it is unknown. If thyroid cancer develops, it could be fatal if it is not detected and treated quickly. If you have hoarseness that won't go away, breathing difficulties, swallowing difficulties, or a mass in your neck, call your doctor straight once.

Can thyroid cancer be cured?

The majority of thyroid tumours are curable, particularly if they haven't migrated to distant bodily regions.

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