Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Thyroid cancer treatment varies by hospital, study finds

Date:
August 16, 2011
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Where thyroid cancer patients go for care plays a large role in whether they receive radioactive iodine treatment, a new study finds.

Where thyroid cancer patients go for care plays a large role in whether they receive radioactive iodine treatment, a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center finds.

Related Articles


While the size and severity of the tumor also played a role in treatment, researchers found unexplained hospital factors had a significant impact on radioactive iodine use.

"What hospital you go to makes a difference in use of radioactive iodine. It doesn't just matter what the tumor looks like, but where you go for care," says lead study author Megan Haymart, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School.

Results of the study appear in the Aug. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Thyroid cancer is currently one of the 10 most common cancers in the United States and is expected to become even more common in the next decade as more small, early stage cancers are uncovered.

Radioactive iodine following surgery to remove the thyroid is known to be an effective treatment for advanced or high-risk thyroid cancer that is very likely to return. But patients with small, low-risk disease often have an excellent prognosis without radioactive iodine treatment, giving some doctors pause to wonder whether they are submitting patients to unnecessary treatment and risk of side effects.

"For some patients, radioactive iodine is a very important part of treatment, but for others, the risks may outweigh the benefit. We need more studies of this low-risk group of patients to understand what the best treatment course is," Haymart says.

In the current study, researchers looked at data from 189,219 patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer between 1990 and 2008, as reported to the National Cancer Database, a national database that captures about 85 percent of all thyroid cancers diagnosed in the United States.

Researchers found that radioactive iodine treatment is being used more frequently overall -- 40 percent of patients in 1990, compared to 56 percent of patients in 2008. Size and severity of the tumor did impact a patient's likelihood to have radioactive iodine, accounting for about 21 percent of the variation in care. In addition, factors such as whether the hospital saw a high volume of thyroid cancer patients played a role. But 29 percent of the variation between whether patients received radioactive iodine was attributable to hospital factors that could not be explained.

"Even among people who are high risk -- and the guidelines are clear that these patients should receive radioactive iodine -- there is still variation. This suggests doctors are unclear about the indications for radioactive iodine. We need randomized clinical trials that look at radioactive iodine in low-risk patients so that we can set better guidelines for its use," Haymart says.

Radioactive iodine treatment can have long-term side effects, including risk of a second cancer or damage to nearby tissue such as salivary glands. In addition, safety precautions need to be taken when the treatment is delivered, requiring patients to stay away from young children for a week and avoid becoming pregnant for up to a year after treatment.

Thyroid cancer statistics: 44,670 Americans will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer this year and 1,690 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. M. R. Haymart, M. Banerjee, A. K. Stewart, R. J. Koenig, J. D. Birkmeyer, J. J. Griggs. Use of Radioactive Iodine for Thyroid Cancer. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011; 306 (7): 721 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.1139
  2. E. H. Livingston, R. A. McNutt. The Hazards of Evidence-Based Medicine: Assessing Variations in Care. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011; 306 (7): 762 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.1181

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Thyroid cancer treatment varies by hospital, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816162256.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2011, August 16). Thyroid cancer treatment varies by hospital, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816162256.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Thyroid cancer treatment varies by hospital, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816162256.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

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
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 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:

More Coverage


Use of Radioactive Iodine for Treatment of Thyroid Cancer on the Rise

Aug. 16, 2011 Despite uncertainty about the appropriate use of radioactive iodine after surgery for different stages of thyroid cancer, between 1990 and 2008 its use has increased among patients with all tumor ... read more

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