Friday 05/21/2021 (jkzx.com) — It has been known for long that exposure to ionizing radiations like x-ray increases the risk of thyroid cancer. A study published in Thyroid Cancer and Nodules find exposure to diagnostic dental x-ray can increase risk of thyroid cancer.
For the study, Mi Ah Han and Jin Hwa Kim from Chosun University in Korea meta-analyzed data from 12 publications released in the PubMed and Embase databases.
The study shows that individuals who were exposed to diagnostic radiation were 52% more likely to develop thyroid cancer than those who were not exposed.
Specifically, exposure to computed tomography scans or dental x-rays was associated with 46% or 69% increased risk for thyroid cancer, respectively.
Exposure to diagnostic x-ray on head and neck or chest diagnostic x-ray was correlated with a 31% or 71% increased risk of thyroid cancer, respectively.
The researchers conclude that “— diagnostic radiation exposure is associated with an increased thyroid cancer risk. Therefore, to the extent that it will not compromise the information being sought, radiation exposure to the thyroid should be minimized during diagnostic examinations.”
The thyroid grand is the organ that is most vulnerable to x-ray induced damage. There is no safe dose of x-ray when it comes to the cancer risk. The risk of cancer increases with the dose, that is, high doses are linked to high cancer risk and small doses linked to small cancer risk. There is no absolute zero risk from x-ray.
Realizing the cancer risk from x-ray, many dental clinics now use digital dental x-ray, which substantially reduces the dose of x-ray for diagnostic purposes. This reduction in dental x-ray exposure is expected to reduce the cancer risk of the thyroid grand.
But low doses can still render a low risk. The cancer risk is accumulative and the thyroid cancer risk adds up when the number of dental x-ray increases. Repeated exposure to even a very small doses of x-ray can be dangerous.
Other studies have linked dental x-ray exposure to elevated risk of brain cancer.
Dental clinics in many countries including European countries, China do not rely on x-ray to diagnose dental conditions like dental cavity.