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August 2, 2006

Radiation Exposure and Thyroid Cancer

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2006;296(5):513-514. doi:10.1001/jama.296.5.513

To the Editor: In his Editorial, Dr Boice1 draws what we believe to be unsupportable conclusions about the relation between iodine 131 and thyroid disease. He states that the evidence for iodine 131 and thyroid cancer from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster is not straightforward due to the presence of other iodine isotopes that could have contributed to excess risk, yet there is strong evidence that isotopes other than iodine 131 delivered at most only a few percent of the total dose to the thyroid of exposed persons.2 Boice alludes to possible interactions between radioiodine exposure and iodine deficiency but notes no evidence that iodine deficiency and potassium iodide act independently in modifying iodine 131–related thyroid cancer risk.2

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