Monday, May 4, 2009

More Aggressive Thyroid Cancer in Patients Exposed to Radiation

According to a recent study published in the Archives of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, thyroid cancer patients who have been exposed to radiation in the past experience worse clinical outcomes and more aggressive cancer than patients who have not. Dr. Raewyn M. Seaberg along with colleagues at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto looked at 125 thyroid cancer patients who had been exposed to radiation at least 3 years before their thyroid cancer surgery through the environment, work, treatment of some benign condition, or some other way. Researchers followed the group for an average of 10.6 years after they were diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The average age of diagnosis for these study participants was 28.7 years after their time of exposure, which was at an average age of 19.4 years. Seaberg and colleagues reported that over the course of the study, 16 percent experienced a recurrence of their thyroid cancer, while 9 percent of the patients had cancer that metastasized, meaning the cancer spread to distant areas of the body. When researchers conducted a final follow-up, they found that 86 percent of the participants had beat their thyroid cancer (were cancer-free), 4 percent had recurrent thyroid cancer, 4 percent experienced distant metastases, 4 percent had died as a result of their cancer, and 2 percent had died of causes unrelated to their thyroid cancer.

The researchers, led by Seaberg, then compared those 125 patients with a group of 574 thyroid cancer patients who had not been previously exposed to radiation. They found that 83 percent of the patients that had been exposed to radiation underwent total or near-total removal of the thyroid, compared with 38 percent of those who had not been exposed. Patients in the radiation exposure group were also more likely to require additional surgery. About 16 percent of the patients that had been exposed to radiation had stage IV disease, while only about 5 percent of the non-exposure group fell into that category. Patients exposed to radiation were also more likely to have distant metastases and thyroid cancer at follow-up, and a higher percentage of the radiation exposure group died of their cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 37,000 people are diagnosed with thyroid cancer each year in the U.S. If you or someone you love has been harmed by a delay in diagnosis or treatment of cancer, our cancer malpractice attorneys can help. Your initial consultation is FREE and there is NO FEE to you unless we recover money. Call Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. today, or submit an instant inquiry now and we will respond within 24 hours. Our experienced attorneys serve clients with Bronx cancer malpractice, Brooklyn cancer malpractice, Queens cancer malpractice, Nassau cancer malpractice and Suffolk cancer malpractice cases.

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