Medical radiology techs at increased risk for thyroid cancer

June 15, 2015
thyroid protection

Thyroid cancer is the most rapidly increasing cancer in the US today1, with 62,450 new cases and nearly 2,000 thyroid cancer deaths already reported in 2015.2 The rise can be attributed to the increased use of CT scans and other radiographic procedures which employ much higher radiation doses than conventional x-rays.3

Although scans are valuable diagnostic tools, caution must be taken to prevent unnecessary thyroid exposure. Radiology techs must be especially careful as they may be at an even greater risk than the general population. Recent studies have indicated a 1.5-fold elevated thyroid cancer risk among technologists who held patients for X-ray procedures at least 50 times.4

Wearable Thyroid Protection

The American Thyroid Association strongly recommends that technologists wear protective thyroid shielding during scans. Their studies indicate that thyroid shielding can reduce radiation doses by as much 45% during CT scans of the head.5 Thyroid radiation protection garments, such as AliMed thyroid shields, are essential for keeping the vulnerable thyroid area safe from harmful scatter radiation. AliMed offers a wide array of thyroid collars that offer full 0.5mmPb-equivalent radiation protection. In addition, most AliMed shields are 36%lighter than standard lead garments, making them more comfortable for radiation techs.

Learn more about how you can protect your staff with thyroid shields and other radiation protection such as lead aprons, radiation protection eyewear, attenuation gloves and more.

References

  1. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/thyroidcancer/detailedguide/thyroid-cancer-key-statistics
  2. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/thyroidcancer/detailedguide/thyroid-cancer-key-statistics
  3. http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/statements/ABS1223_policy_statement.pdf
  4. http://dceg.cancer.gov/research/who-we-study/cohorts/us-radiologic-technologists
  5. http://www.thyroid.org/wp-content/uploads/statements/ABS1223_policy_statement.pdf

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