Radiation Exposure Affects Course of Thyroid Cancer

-- Rick Ansorge

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WEDNESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with thyroid cancer, increased radiation exposure is associated with poorer outcomes, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery.

Raewyn M. Seaberg, M.D., of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and colleagues conducted a chart review of 125 patients, including 95 women and 30 men, with thyroid cancer who had been exposed to radiation at least three years before surgical treatment.

Compared to other thyroid cancer patients, the researchers found the radiation-exposed cohort was more likely to undergo total thyroidectomy, multiple operative procedures, and external radiotherapy. They also found that rates of multifocal disease, extrathyroid extension, stage IV disease, and distant metastases were higher in the radiation-exposed cohort, and that fewer of such patients were disease free or alive at follow-up.

"Therefore, this study suggests that patients who have been exposed to radiation have more aggressive disease and worse clinical outcome than other patients with thyroid cancer and, therefore, may require more aggressive treatment," the authors conclude.

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