Researchers in the UK have observed that between 1975 and 2006, the incidence of thyroid cancer in the UK has increased with the numbers of dental X-ray exposure from 1.4 to 2.9 per 100,000 people.
Found in the front of the neck, the thyroid gland is easily exposed to the ionizing radiation.
The researchers noted that these findings are consistent with earlier observations of the direct relationship between dental X-ray exposure and thyroid cancer.
However, the researchers stressed that their conclusions should be treated carefully, as they investigated mostly self-report study participants without the benefit of X-ray records. Adequate records include the participants’ age, frequency and roentgen dosage. They also believe that there is a direct relationship between the rare thyroid cancers and roentgen exposure; however, large-scale and more sophisticated studies are necessary to prove the causes of cancer.
The researchers also highlighted that if the link between thyroid cancer and radiography were established, the use of lead collars will have to be considered for necessary dental evaluation, and X-rays will not be part of routine dental procedures.
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