Can diagnostic x-ray exposures cause thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer is the most common type of cancer, representing 3.0% of all new cancer cases in 2020 worldwide,  is the ninth most common cancer overall. According to the world cancer research fund, there were around 18 million cancer cases around the world in 2018, of these 9.5 million cases were in men and 8.5 million in women. Being the ninth most common cancer 567,233 people were diagnosed with thyroid cancer. In 2021 estimated 12,150 men and 32,130 women will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the united states.

WCRF’s studies show that the thyroid cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women that affect the thyroid gland. Cancer starts when the growth of cells becomes uncontrollable. The thyroid gland plays an essential role in the metabolism, growth, and enhancement of our body temperature.

There are four types of thyroid cancer

Based on which cell is involved Thyroid malignancies are classified into five types.

  • Papillary thyroid cancer
  • Follicular thyroid cancer.
  • Hurthle cell cancer.
  • Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC).
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer.

Are medical x-rays cause thyroid cancer?

According to ATA(American Thyroid Association), Repeated dental x-rays without neck shielding increase the risk of thyroid cancer. Exposure of the thyroid area to radiation at an adult age is a well-established risk factor for the development of thyroid cancer. Currently, radiological x-ray procedures are a leading source of exposure to radiation.

Dental radiography procedures are likely the top most common source of radiation to the thyroid area. There have been multiple studies that have indicated the strong link between dental x-rays and thyroid cancer.

Now it is the common procedure in the radiological industry to provide thyroid shielding to patients when taking dental x-rays.

One study conducted by ATA shows – that frequent dental x-ray examinations before 1970 in this population and radiotherapy to the head are associated with increased risk of thyroid cancer. This is fairly due to the lack of thyroid shielding prior to 1970. And most importantly patients should be exposed a minimum level of radiation and utilize a lead apron with a thyroid shield during the radiological examination

There are multiple numbers of companies providing radiation shielding products in the market. But before having such shielding material you should check, either these accessories are protecting your thyroid properly or not.

Check is your entire thyroid area is protected or not?

The effectiveness of the thyroid shield also depends on its coverage over the thyroid area. The thyroid area should be covered properly to minimize the risk of thyroid cancer from radiation exposure during diagnostic procedures. Many of the thyroid shields available on the market have possible risks associated with their coverage. Global Imaging Thyroid shields are manufactured and designed in a way that it will provide complete protection for the neck and thyroid area.