Thyroid cancer is the fastest rising cancer in women. Most thyroid cancers are treated with surgery alone. More advanced thyroid cancers require additional treatment with radioactive iodine. Radioactive iodine therapy is a well-tolerated and effective treatment for most types of thyroid cancer. It is taken up and concentrated by thyroid cells, both normal and cancerous, producing ionizing radiation that destroys the cells. While the highest amount of radioactive iodine is delivered to the thyroid cells, many other cells are exposed to low levels of ionizing radiation for a brief period of time. Any ionizing radiation has the potential to cause harm and the risk of cancer related to or caused by radioactive iodine has been studied but without clear conclusions. These cancers are called secondary malignancies, a cancer related to the treatment of another cancer.
This study was performed to gather more information on how much risk radioactive iodine has for the development of a secondary malignancy.
THE FULL ARTICLE TITLE:
Yu CY et al 2018 A systematic review and meta-analysis of subsequent malignant neoplasm risk after radioactive iodine treatment of thyroid cancer. Thyroid. Epub 2018 Nov 27. PMID 30370820.
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
This was a meta-analysis, a study that looks at the results of well-done previous studies on the same topic, combining the results to get a better overall picture and answer to the question of the risk of radioactive iodine. After reviewing all available studies, 17 were considered of high enough quality to be included in this meta-analysis.