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Exposure to head and neck radiation increases thyroid cancer risk

Category: Thyroid Diseases

Thyroid testing may benefit individuals who were exposed to high levels of radiation in their childhood. A new study has found that, while it may take a while for symptoms to emerge, these individuals have a significantly higher risk of thyroid problems, including cancer.

Childhood exposure to radiation is becoming much more common. It is used as part of therapy for certain types of cancer as well as in head and neck computed tomography scans. While these techniques have greatly improved disease detection and treatment, they have also exposed a generation to high levels of radiation.

The study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center, examined the medical records of thousands of individuals who had been treated with radiation in their childhood. The investigation team found that later in life, these individuals were significantly more likely to develop thyroid cancer.

In recent years, doctors have reported that thyroid cancer is one of the fastest growing cancer diagnoses. The researchers said that, based on their findings, this may be caused by the growing use of radiation in testing and treating diseases.

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