Thursday, 22 December 2011

Dental X-rays and the Risk of Thyroid Cancer

In a recent research by Dr. Anjum Memon and his awesome team through Brighton, Cambridge as well as Kuwait, released medical diary Acta Oncologica and reported in the Medical Information These days article. The group possess demonstrated that thyroid most cancers raises because the quantity of dental x-rays develops. The scientists report that the actual incidence rates of thyroid gland most cancers  possess doubled through one.4 for each one hundred,thousand within 1975 to 2.9 for each one hundred,thousand in '06 in the united kingdom

In the study’s abstract
it had been noted that Ionising radiation is the only established cause of thyroid cancer and this dental x-rays, a common source of low-dose diagnostic radiation exposure in the general population is often overlooked as a radiation hazard to the gland and may be associated with the risk of thyroid cancer.

The scientists studied 313 patients in Kuwait who
all had thyroid cancer where the incidence of thyroid cancer is very high, and interestingly, dental treatment is free.

Dr. Memon said the findings were compatible with earlier reports of raised risk of thyroid cancer in dentist s, dental assistants and x-ray workers, suggesting the multiple low-dose exposures in adults may be significant. He also said that dental x-rays have also been linked to an increased risk of brain and salivary gland tumors.

Dr Memon wrote:

The public health and clinical implications of these findings are particularly relevant in the light of increases in the incidence of thyroid cancer in many countries over the past 30 years.

It is important that our study is repeated with information from dental records including frequency of x-rays, age and dose at exposure. If the results are confirmed then the use of x-rays as a necessary part of evaluation for new patients, and routine periodic dental radiography (at 6-12 months interval), particularly for children and adolescents, will need to be reconsidered, as will a greater use of lead collar protection.

Our study highlights the concern that like chest (or other upper-body) x-rays, dental x-rays should be prescribed when the patient has a specific clinical need, and not as part of routine check-up or when registering with a dentist.

(conclusion) The notion that low-dose radiation exposure through dental radiography is absolutely safe needs to be investigated further, as although the individual risk, particularly with modern equipment is likely to be very low, the proportion of the population exposed is high.

So….. How often should x-rays be taken? There are many variables; included in this would be whether the x-rays are digital or not and that is why further research needs to be done as Dr Memon has pointed out. But please, have this discussion with your dental professional in light of this new research.


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