Dental x-rays may be associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer

Large amounts of radiation exposure are associated with higher risk of thyroid cancer.  This can be seen after radiation therapy for other cancers that may have included the thyroid in the radiation field.  Smaller amounts of radiation - for example from dental x-rays - may also be associated with cancers.  Some studies have shown that dentists, dental assistants, and x-ray workers have increased risk of thyroid cancer.  Because dental x-rays are a common source of radiation to the neck, understanding whether dental x-rays are associated with greater risk of thyroid cancer impacts public health.  Recently, a  study was performed to assess whether there is an association between dental x-rays and thyroid cancer.  This study raises the possibility that low-dose radiation exposure from dental x-rays may be associated with thyroid cancer.  This reinforces the importance of following American Dental Association recommendations that dental practices shield the thyroid during dental x-rays.

Categories: Thyroid