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March 1977

Dermatologic Radiotherapy and Thyroid Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Task Force on Ionizing Radiation of the National Program for Dermatology.

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(3):362-364. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640030108019

The increased risk of thyroid cancer in patients who received therapeutic doses of x-radiation to the head, neck, and upper part of the thorax for various nonmalignant conditions during infancy and childhood is well recognized. Recent publicity through articles in local newspapers and journals and announcements via radio and television has alarmed many patients who are aware of such irradiation. The Task Force on Ionizing Radiation of the National Program for Dermatology has been contacted by many colleagues requesting advice on the proper procedure to follow with patients who were treated in the past for benign skin conditions. Published recommendations by various specialists are contradictory, particularly concerning the benefits and risks of radioactive diagnostic procedures and the need for recall of irradiated patients. Recent statements by the National Cancer Institute and the American Thyroid Association, Inc, have helped considerably to clarify this situation.

The following recommendations are partially excerpted from

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