Updated: May 2003
With respect to prevention, several studies have concluded that there is a rapid reduction in risk of oral and laryngeal cancers following cessation of smoking, suggesting that this is an effective method of reducing cancer risk at these sites. Another possibility that is receiving attention is "chemoprevention". This approach is experimental, and involves the use of non-toxic agents on premalignant lesions, to prevent them from developing into cancers. This is an active field of research in British Columbia.
Thyroid Malignancies – History of Radiation Exposure
The risk of subsequent development of thyroid cancer after radiation therapy in childhood has been estimated at 7%, that is 1.5-4.5 per 10 subjects per rad per year, the latent period being reported from 4 to 30 years. It is important to recognize that radiation to the head and neck or chest not only results in an increased risk of thyroid cancer but also leads to an increased occurrence of benign changes within the thyroid gland such a colloid nodules and cysts, thereby the importance of following these patients very closely.