Diagnostic X Rays Contributor to Thyroid Cancer

The American Thyroid Association has released a public statement informing us to be aware of the dangers of over using x rays as a diagnostic tool by dental and medical professionals. These are ok in isolation but we are seeing a lot more reliance on x rays by these practitioners.

Have we forgotten Chernobyl?

Have we forgotten that exposure to radiation is the biggest contributor to thyroid cancer?

Chernobyl is considered one of the worst nuclear plant explosions the world has known. The other, of course, is the recent one in Japan at Fukushima. Large quantities of radioactive particles were released into the atmosphere when these power plants exploded. These particles were then blown around the world by winds, in the Chernobyl case, all across Europe. In the Fukushima case these did reach the West Coast of the US.

This puts the environment at risk, not to mention humans simply breathing in these particles. Deformities and death from this was immense and still is as babies are still being born from survivors.

This is the major cause of thyroid cancer, exposure to radiation both externally and internally.

Research says that the thyroid gland in children is far more susceptible to damage than in adults. We all must have noticed how easily medical practitioners are sending us off for “x-rays”. This partially stems from the propensity of patients to engage in litigation and hence they need to be sure that "everything had been done" and partially to assist them with diagnosis.

The American Thyroid Association is suggesting that practitioners;

  • Evaluate the necessity of ordering x-rays beforehand, that is weigh up the benefits versus the risks.
  • They also must make sure alternate ways of obtaining the same information have been exhausted.
  • They also insist that everyone is aware of the risks of radiation especially in children.
  • With CT scans the ATA recommend the use of thyroid shields to protect the thyroid gland.
  • Regarding the use of x-rays in dental examinations they recommend a reduction. Of course they don’t want to compromise the health of patients but do suggest less would be better.

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