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Article
June 9, 1956

CANCER OF THE THYROID AND IRRADIATION

JAMA. 1956;161(6):504-507. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970060018005
Abstract

• The amount of radiation that reaches the thyroid during x-ray treatments for benign hyperplasia of the nasopharynx was measured. The customary three treatments, with a total of 375 r to each of two lateral fields, resulted in a maximum of 18 r reaching the skin above the thyroid over a period of two weeks. This is much less than the amount of radiation that reaches the thyroid during the usual fluoroscopic examination of the chest.

This study concerns 25 patients under the age of 21 who had been referred for treatment of carcinoma of the thyroid during the past 18 years. Of these, only four had had previous irradiation. On the other hand, during the same 18 years, 2,500 children received radiation therapy for hypertrophic lymphoid tissue in the pharynx and for enlarged tonsils, and 480 of these upon examination were found not to afford a single instance of carcinoma during a follow-up period of 7 years.

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