Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Decades after childhood radiation, thyroid cancer a concern

Date:
December 17, 2010
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
When children are exposed to head and neck radiation, whether due to cancer treatment or multiple diagnostic CT scans, the result is an increased risk of thyroid cancer for the next 58 years or longer, according to new research.

When children are exposed to head and neck radiation, whether due to cancer treatment or multiple diagnostic CT scans, the result is an increased risk of thyroid cancer for the next 58 years or longer, according to University of Rochester Medical Center research.

Related Articles


The study is believed to be the longest of any group of children exposed to medical irradiation and followed for thyroid cancer incidence. It was published in the December 2010 edition of the journal, Radiation Research.

The data also might provide some insight about why the rates of thyroid cancer continue to rise, as the general public is increasingly exposed to higher doses of radiation through more frequently used imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT), said lead author Jacob Adams, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor in the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at URMC.

"Ionizing radiation is a known carcinogen and, in fact, about 1 million CT scans are performed every year on children five years or younger," Adams said. "Although CTs and other imaging tests are an important diagnostic tool and radiotherapy is an important treatment modality for cancer, with everything comes a risk. Our study attempted to measure the very long-term impact on thyroid cancer from medical irradiation. Our findings strongly suggest that those individuals exposed to irradiation from multiple CT scans to the head, neck and chest during early childhood and individuals treated with radiotherapy to the upper body as children have a lifelong increased risk of thyroid cancer."

Adams and colleagues indirectly evaluated the future risks of modern patients by assessing the rates of thyroid cancer in a group that was treated with lower-dose chest radiotherapy in Rochester, N.Y., between 1953 and 1987. The cohort had been treated during infancy for an enlarged thymus, a condition that physicians used to believe was a health problem. None of the radiation administered was for cancer, and thus the research is not confounded by a susceptibility to the disease.

Adams re-surveyed the population between 2004 and 2008, and compared the health status of the group to their siblings who had not received radiation. Thyroid cancer occurred in 50 of the 1,303 irradiated patients compared to only 13 of the 1,768 siblings. The association between radiation and thyroid cancer remained strong even after researchers accounted for other factors that could contribute to thyroid cancer risk.

Radiation doses in the mid-century group overlapped with current medical practices; however, in general, higher doses and less precision were used years ago. Doses at the lower end of the study cohort were comparable to a diagnostic pediatric chest CT given today, the study said. Not surprisingly, researchers found that thyroid cancer risk increased with higher doses of radiation.

The Rochester study confirmed the findings of a pooled review of five earlier population studies, and adds to the literature by showing that, at least in children, the risk of cancer due to radiation exposure continues for a median of 57.5 years.

The James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at URMC and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "Decades after childhood radiation, thyroid cancer a concern." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101216122012.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2010, December 17). Decades after childhood radiation, thyroid cancer a concern. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101216122012.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "Decades after childhood radiation, thyroid cancer a concern." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101216122012.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins