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October 5, 1984

Treatment of Hyperthyroidism-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Chicago

JAMA. 1984;252(13):1683. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350130015015

In Reply.—  I plead guilty to nostalgia and to the "archaic calumny" that radioactive iodine therapy is "usually reserved for patients older than 30 or 40 years of age." Moreover, I plead guilty to the crime of equating the practice of the University of Chicago endocrine group with the practice of endocrinologists across the country. We are gifted by having a very talented thyroid surgeon, and we help preserve his talent by providing him with appropriate referral material. A clear advantage to thyroid surgery is the low incidence of posttreatment hypothyroidism.I attempted to state a brief, conservative opinion for general medical readership. I agree that it was not precise and not based on scientific fact but on prejudice and fear. Cancer is a bad word for the public as well as many physicians. DeGroot and colleagues,1 in their just-published book, The Thyroid and Its Diseases, state, "The question

DeGroot LJ, Larsen PR, Refetoff S, et al:  The Thyroid and Its Diseases , ed 5. New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1984.