Radiation exposure from nuclear incidents, especially in childhood, is known to increase the risk of thyroid cancer. This large retrospective study from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre sought to determine if thyroid cancers in patients with prior exposure to therapeutic radiation had a worse outcome compared to those that did not.

116 (3.3%) of the 3625 patients with thyroid cancer treated between 1986 and 2010 had a prior history of radiotherapy to the head and neck over an 80-year period. No differences between the two groups were found in terms of the tumour and treatment characteristics, recurrence nor survival.

Therefore, a prior history of external beam radiotherapy should not be a factor in your management of a patient with differentiated thyroid carcinoma.

Previous external beam radiation treatment exposure does not confer worse outcome for patients with differentiated thyroid cancer.
Shaha M, Wang L, Migliacci J et al.
Share This
Serge Latis

Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

View Full Profile