Iodine Rx for thyroid raises cancer risk: study

(Robert Preidt/ HealthDay) — Patients who receive radioactive iodine treatment for an overactive thyroid have an increased long-term risk of cancer death, new research finds.

The study couldn’t prove cause-and-effect, but “we identified a clear dose-response relationship between this widely used treatment and long-term risk of death from solid cancer, including breast cancer, in the largest cohort study to date of patients treated for hyperthyroidism,” said lead author Cari Kitahara. She’s with the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI).

“We estimated that for every 1,000 patients treated currently using a standard range of doses, about 20 to 30 additional solid cancer deaths would occur as a result of the radiation exposure,” Kitahara said in an NCI news release. (…)

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