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Thyroid Cancer & Iodine

Published on September 20, 2011

Medical ignorance is epidemic and nowhere is this more evident than in how contemporary medicine views and treats thyroid cancer. Overtreatment of thyroid cancer with radioactive iodine is rampant even though there is substantial uncertainty about the indications for radioactive iodine for thyroid cancer. Radioactive iodine absorbed by the thyroid can injure the gland.

There was a large increase in the proportion of thyroid cancer patients receiving radioactive iodine between 1990 and 2008 even though radioactive iodine is a cause of thyroid cancer. Between 1990 and 2008, the percentage of patients treated with radioactive iodine climbed from 40 to 56 percent, and hospitals varied widely in their use of iodine. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, there are more than 40,000 new cases of thyroid cancer every year in the U.S.—a number that’s been climbing steadily.

The downsides of radioactive iodine are clear: the therapy saps patients’ energy and ups their risk of developing new cancers down the road, and it costs thousands of dollars. “There are a lot of patients who are receiving radioactive iodine for what is considered low-risk tumors,” said Dr. David J. Sher, a cancer expert at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “These patients generally have a superb prognosis without radioactive iodine.”

How senseless can oncologists get?

Pretty senseless! The first thing you see on many different medical sites is the following medical ignorance—“The Cause of Thyroid Cancer is Unknown.” This is really not true but they say it is true to hide decades of deliberate movement away from the vital importance of iodine, not only for thyroid health but for general health as well. Because non-radioactive iodine acts to block radioactive iodine from being taken into the thyroid gland, it can help protect the thyroid gland from injury.

Nobody in contemporary medicine wants to step out and just say it as it is—that iodine deficiency causes thyroid cancer. Some sites to their credit do say that certain risk factors for thyroid cancer include:

  • A history of thyroid disease (iodine deficiency)
  • Exposure to radiation, especially in childhood
  • An inherited abnormal gene or a bowel condition called FAP
  • Having low iodine levels
  • Goiter (iodine deficiency)

The iodine deficiency we get is partly a result of toxicity from fluoride and bromine. Bread has ten times more bromine in it than it used and the sources of fluorine are nearly ubiquitous today. So who does not need iodine? I find that nearly everyone needs more than they are getting. – Dr. Garry F. Gordon

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As far back as the early 1920s, L. Goldemberg showed that fluoride was displacing iodine, rendering the community hypothyroid from iodine deficiency. The thyroid-stimulating hormone output from the pituitary gland is inhibited by fluoride, thus reducing output of thyroid hormones. Fluoride competes for the receptor sites on the thyroid gland and so do mercury and bromide. This contamination might also invite an autoimmune response. Western medical science has allowed itself to be totally corrupted by its pharmaceutical masters and cannot even bring itself to acknowledge fluoride and bromide as thyroid disrupters and causes of certain thyroid cancers.

Iodine Deficiencies

People who have low iodine levels are more likely to get thyroid cancer than those who do not. Low iodine levels also cause goiter (an enlarged thyroid) and this increases the chance of developing thyroid cancer. If there are low levels of iodine in the soil where you live, there may be low levels in your drinking water and any local milk, meat or vegetables you buy. Smoking can also lower iodine levels. Pregnancy increases the body’s demands for iodine.

If certain people had their way they would now take iodine out of salt, which is the only way the masses of humanity have access to supplemental iodine even though the dosages provided are far too low to protect the thyroid from the onslaught of chemical and heavy metal contamination. It is just because of the vast contamination affecting everyone that the thyroid needs to be protected with increased levels of iodine.

Doctors who would leave the population exposed to worsening iodine deficiencies are playing a cruel game. Iodine is extremely important since the cells need it to regulate their metabolism. Without it, people are known to suffer from swollen glands in the throat, thyroid diseases, increased fluoride toxicity, decreased fertility rates, increased infant mortality rates, and (with severe deficiency) mental retardation. It has been theorized that iodine deficiency is one causal factor of ADHD in babies of iodine-deficient mothers.

Iodine deficiency slows all the systems of the body: The digestive system becomes sluggish, nails grow more slowly, skin and hair become dry and dull, tendon reflexes stiffen, sensitivity to cold increases, and the pulse slows. Iodine helps form who we are to such an extent that a deficiency can lead to a dulling of the personality, deterioration of attention and memory, and an increase in irritability due to fatigue and extreme apathy. “The group we are most concerned about is pregnant women, who need more iodine anyway,” says Dr. Robert Utiger, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “There is the possibility of irreversible damage to the fetus if the mother is deficient,” Utiger adds.

When faced with a radioactive cloud, as is everyone in the northern hemisphere thanks to Fukushima, it is absolutely imperative that we take iodine, whatever iodine you can get your hands on. If the only iodine available is topical iodine that is not suitable for oral use then you should paint your body and your children’s bodies with it. Few people have ready access to the Nascent iodine so will not enjoy its ease of application in repeated measured dosages that are more gentle to the system, thus yielding fewer side effects. Because Nascent is in the atomic form (I¹), it is absorbed faster and that can also be advantageous in emergency situations when fighting infections with it. Its only downside is the expense of having to use so much of it, so for those who cannot afford it and cannot get their hands on it, I recommend Lugol’s, which has been around and used heavily for 150 years.

Dr. Brownstein writes, “If there is enough inorganic, non-radioactive iodine in our bodies, the radioactive fallout has nowhere to bind in our bodies. It will pass through us, leaving our bodies unharmed. It is important to ensure that we have adequate iodine levels before this fallout hits.”

Dr. Michael B. Schachter says, “The treatment dose when a person is iodine insufficient is generally between 12.5 mg and 50 mg daily. Preliminary research indicates that if a person is iodine insufficient, it takes about three months to become iodine sufficient while ingesting a dosage of 50 mg of iodine daily and a year to achieve that while ingesting a dosage of 12.5 mg of iodine daily.

Because of the continuing radiation, it behooves us to start taking the highest dosages tolerable to protect not only our thyroids but also all the glandular tissues as well. Iodine protects the thyroid, breasts, prostate and ovary glands as well as other tissues in the body from radioactive iodine whether used by mad doctors or ingested from the environment.

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Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine

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For questions pertaining to your own personal health issues or for specific dosing of Dr. Sircus's protocol items please seek a consultation or visit our knowledge base to see if your question may have been answered previously.
  • Brenda Shoults Lopez

    I have hashimoto’s. Taking no meds, but want to start taking Iodine drops. I have Lugol’s 5%, but don’t know how many drops amounts to mgs. Can someone explain?

    • IMVAUser

      Please understand that there are not specific dosages that fit each and every person reading Dr.Sircus’ e-books. These are very dependent on many factors including the persones age, weight, medical history, other medications being used, emotional issues and more.
      But the books will give you a general idea of what you need to do and how to start using Dr. Sircus’ basic protocols for whatever you are treating. I generally gives a range of doses and what to watch out for to tell you when a problem might happen.
      If you read Dr. Sircus book and still have questions or concerns about how to follow the protocol for optimum benefits you can always request a a private consultation or to join the online clinic more in depth or longer termed guidance.

  • Jen Eff

    I would recommend the scan, which uses much less radiation than when you are having RAI to kill the thyroid. Technetium may also be an option, and a lower dose of radiation than an iodine isotope. I have had a scan with Te myself and didn’t notice detrimental effects to my thyroid. I did have a sore arm (where I was injected) for weeks, which I gather is rare.

    If you were to supplement iodine, even just a mg or two per day and your TSH plummets, and you develop signs of hyperthyroidism that could be an indication that you have an autonomous or hot nodule. I am not sure how dangerous a couple of mg’s would be for a small autonomous nodule. But, I imagine a high dose of iodine might put someone with that contraindication at risk of becoming severely hyperthyroid and perhaps even cause a thyroid storm which could be life threatening without treatment.

  • Karen,

    Dr. Sircus would disagree that any scan with radioactive iodine is not worth the long term risk.
    You can discuss this further with him directly in a short consultation.

    Claudia French

  • DC Mannerly

    Would you recommend using Iodine supplementation during radiation for breast cancer?

  • LHuber

    If one has had thyroid cancer along with a goiter and has had their thyroid removed as well as being treated with radiation then had the cancer return 6 years later to be treated through radiation again, is it safe and/or recommended to take iodine?

  • Emma

    Hi I am 30 years old and diagnosed lastweek with papillary thyroid carcinoma – its a 2cm nodule and they have saidit is stage 1. I have had goiter for about 2 years. There is no evidence of spread to the neck lymph (through scan) but they will be harvesting some around my thyroid during surgery. I am scheduled to have a full thyroidectomy in a weeks time followed by radioactive iodine. I dont want to have either procedures but feelike I am being forced into this. any recommendations and comments would be good as feeling lost

    • Maurice Guggisberg

      Dear Emma,

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation.

      Dr. Sircus has an entire protocol of a number of things that may help you. You can read about his protocol and about dosages in the ebook Treatment Essentials:

      Or you can choose a consultation with Dr. Sircus for an in depth recommendation for you. He is available to take patients via his online clinic.

      Please let me know if I can be of further help.

      Best Regards,

      Maurice Guggisberg

      IMVA Support Team

    • Ellen

      Hi Emma. I am 31 years old and wanted to reach out – I was also diagnosed with papillary thyroid carcinoma, 2 days ago. The nodule is 2.5cm. I’d be interested in hearing what you’ve decided? My first opinion has recommended a total thyroidectomy, followed up by radioactive iodine treatment.

  • Mary Tilley

    Yes, but what if I was dx’d at 28 (I am now 47) with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and now all of these years later (with terrible fatigue mind you as well as extra added weight despite a strict vegan diet…no bread, no potatoes, no boxed foods…only veggies and fruit and an occasional gluten free snack) would I now have a goiter? Could it be that ALL THIS TIME I have been iodine deficient and never knew it? I’d like to start taking iodine but alas I am afraid after hearing other physicians say that it would be like, “Throwing gasoline on a fire.” (Dr. Kharrazain referenced). Because if I’ve been suffering ALL of this time with these issues and someone could have just told me to at least TRY the iodine…I would have had less issues. I have severe bouts of depression (I do not take medication for it…that’s all I need), my hair falls out all the time (I am also iron deficient…go figure), my weight fluctuates about 10 to 25 pounds either way and has so since I was 28 (the last year I was a normal 140 pounds…I am 5’6). I’m frustrated, I’m tired…and I’m simply going to start taking matters into my own hands.

  • jsbride

    I had micro-papillary thyroid cancer about 3 years ago. I am trying to figure out what multivitamin that I can take. I have always taken a multi without the iron or iodine since my surgery thinking that it could possibly feed any rogue thyroid cells in my body and that my cancer may come back. At my last check-up, my endo said that he was 99.8 percent sure that this type of cancer that I had will not return. With that news, is it okay to take a regular multivitamin since it is good for more than just the thyroid? Thanks for any insight on this.

  • Heather

    Hi, I had a baby in June of 2013, I got diagnosed with Stage 1 Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma October of this year. Never had any thyroid problems before. But, found a nodule and it was biopsied. They want me to have it removed. I have been taking in more table iodonized salt and it seems to reduce the pressure I have near my throat area. Strangely enough. Is that because the iodine could be helping some? I feel I may be deficient. We had gone through our cupboards and got rid of alot of high sodium items during pregnancy and never used salt, if so, rarely. Now I’m beginning to wonder if I got deficient during pregnancy and after.
    I am not taking any medications as of right now. I only take supplements. Any comments? Thank you..

    • Heather,

      You could be deficient in iodine but depending on regular iodized table salt (sodium chloride) is inadequate to provide you with the proper type and amount of iodine. Dr. Sircus recommends using Nascent Iodine for iodine supplementation, or Lugols. Please read his book on Iodine to learn all about this, available here at:

      Table salt is not to be relied on forour iodine needs.

      Claudia French

  • boys

    If you are on meds to regulate your thyroid and brush iodine on will it not interfere with the amount of iodine going into your body and mess with the way you feel?

    • If you are on meds to regulate your thyroid there is obviously a problem with the thyroid. So if you are going to add iodine supplemenntation to your program you do need to do so under supervision as it may make you feel different by changing the amount of medication you need. This needs to be monitored closely.
      Claudia French

  • TM

    I had thyroid cancer, hertill cell and half my thyroid was removed. I still have the other half and take synthroid and cydomil….should I still be taking idone when they want to keep my thyroid in active??? TM

    • If you use iodine, do so under supervision. Whether iodine can stimulate growth of cancer cells in the thyroid is widely believed by many, but they also do not take into account all of the other organs that need and use iodine. You will need to find a good balance. Dr. Sircus does not believe iodine needs to be totally avoided in thyroid cancer. Claudia French

      • TM

        Thank you so much for your wise advise. I really appreciate it. I also have another question. Since my camcer tumor was small and caught early they did not feel that I needed to have the other half of the thyroid removed. I have since been on synthroid 125 and now cydomil 5 2x a day. The only vitamin supplement I currently take is Vitamin D. And, I still feel soooo tired and all winter I was not able to fight off a cold, the flu any thing. I cannot find a doctor in the Northern Virginia area that can help me. Any suggestions regarding a doctor in my area, or supplements to be taking or if I should be on Armour ??

        • Tim,

          There are a number of things that could be happening…..Vitamin D needs a number of things to be properly absorbed…..magnesium is needed as is Vit K and possibly some other things. If you are not balanced in minerals it will throw your immune system off.
          Please consider a consultation with Dr. Sircus if you would like him to further advise on your situation as more information would be needed from you.

          Claudia French

  • What about those of us who are allergic to iodine? What are we supposed to do?

    • Few people have a true allergy to iodine. Many people who are told this and who react to eating shellfish actually have an allergy to a particular protein in the shellfish, but not to iodine.
      First it would be necessary to determine if a true allergy exists….Dr. Brownstein writes, as does Dr. Sircus that they have found iodine allergies to be pretty rare. Dr. David Derry of Canada seems to agree.
      Dr. Sircus recommends people who fear iodine allergy, get some Nascent iodine and do a test with a small painted area of their skin and watch for a reaction. Generally none occurs….and people can then try one drop of nascent in a glass of water.
      Of course, if your iodine allergy is confirmed Dr. Sircus would recommend other possible ways to get what’s needed, though with iodine needed by just about every organ in our bodies, and due to the fact that we intake it from many sources naturally, its hard to imagine that we can deprive ourselves of this essential nutrient. Generally there is some other serious problem like a genetic defect or ingestion of toxins that prohibits proper utilization of iodine that needs to be looked into if reactions to iodine itself occur. —– Original Message —–
      From: Disqus
      Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 8:51 AM
      Subject: [drsircus] Re: Thyroid Cancer & Iodine

  • DZO

    a doctor diagnosed me with thyroid cancer. Will taking Lugols iodine be able to reduce this? Ive heard that taking iodine for some kinds of GOITERS are not safe.
    Also, in the past, ive gotten a “crash” for taking iodine. I believe it has increased swelling as well. What gives?

  • Jennifer

    Question… What if you were diagnosed with a large goiter, several small swollen modules and one large suspicious cyst they think is cancer? What can I do to help myself with these issues? Curcumin? I also have a pituitary tumor. They said was unrelated? Thanks for any help you can offer.

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      Increasing iodine intake has been found to reverse goiter…..please read Dr. Sircus’ book on Iodine and also read his book on Transdermal Magnesium Therapy. If after reading these you still have questions pertaining to your special circumstances, you will need a consult with Dr. Sircus.

  • If you had your thyroid removed due to thyroid cancer, can you take iodine supplements?

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      Many other organs in the body need and utilize iodine in small amounts besides the thyroid, for example the ovaries. You can use some iodine supplements but with caution.

  • I have 2 nodules in the thyroid, I not have cancer, and hormones are controlled. What do to get the thyroid nodules, making them disappear, when I have to do surgery? I do not take medicine. I’m not a smoker, do not drink alcohol nor coffee.

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Dear Eloina,

      You should be using Dr. Sircus” protocol. You should be intaking iodine daily. Please see his information on iodine, it is valuable even if there is no cancer present. There is a great deal of information there and in the book Iodine: Bringing Back The Universal Medicine

  • tenho 2 nodulos na tireoide, não cancer, e hormonios controlados. O que fazer para tirar os nodulos? Não tomo remedios. Não fumante, não bebo alcool e nem cafe.

  • Denice

    Hi I have hashimoto disease, but my t3 and t 4 are normal. I was advised to not take iodine, why? Could you explain this to me….
    Thank you!

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Hi Denice,

      There are many doctors who don’t believe in iodine use with Hashimoto’s disease. ..Some interesting studies in animals have shown that a connection between iodine intake and selenium intake have a lot to do with who is affected adversely if they have Hashimotos and supplement iodine, and those who are nnot affected adversely by iodine It appears adequate selenium intake and balance protects those with Hashimotos from adverse reactions to iodine. Here is an excerpt from one article explaining this.
      See the full atricle for more detailed information.


      Excess iodine intake can cause an autoimmune thyroiditis that bears all the characteristics of Hashimoto’s. However, in animal studies this occurs only if selenium is deficient or in excess. Similarly, in animal studies very high iodine intake can exacerbate a pre-existing autoimmune thyroiditis, but only if selenium is deficient or in excess.

      With optimal selenium status, thyroid follicles are healthy, goiter is eliminated, and autoimmune markers like Th1/Th2 ratio and CD4+/CD8+ ratio are normalized over a wide range of iodine intake. It seems that optimizing selenium intake provides powerful protection against autoimmune thyroid disease, and provides tolerance of a wide range of iodine intakes.

      Please be aware that other doctors who research and use high dose iodine treatment do successfully use iodine in Hashimotos….like David Bernstein, George Flechas and Dr. David Derry.

      Claudia French
      IMVA staff

  • Bob

    Hi Joel,

    ,,,,. I’ve been feeling fine with 2 drops of this + sun and 1g vit D ……

    is that a typo ~ 1g vit D ? could you check and reply with both the amount and the indentity of the Vit D ie vit D2 or vit D3 ?


  • Joel

    I’m in Hawaii, taking iodine daily preventively, alternating one day of LEF’s potassium iodide tabs (130 mg) with one day of Atomidine, 2 drops.
    I don’t see anything mentioning Atomidine. It’s labeled as iodine trichloride providing 600mcg per drop, which is one ‘serving’, to be taken in the morning. I’ve been feeling fine with 2 drops of this + sun and 1g vit D and other supplements. I’ve seen some authors suggest up to 12mg/day.
    I’d like to hear any further information about Atomidine if you have any. Thank you. Wikipedia is interesting but who knows what’s been changed and for what reason…

    I’m a little ambivalent about this regimen, not knowing
    (a) whether I was initially iodine deficient, nor
    (b) how much radioactive iodine are we actually receiving where I live. It’s on the southwest dry side of the island, hence very little rain, which would carry the most concentrated fallout I assume. There’s supposedly a monitoring station here but I’ve yet to find a public way to access it’s readings.
    The initial computergraphics on I think dutchsinse site showed very little iodine drifting southward all the way to the Hawaiian islands. But a more current computergraphic has caesium curling all over Hawaii as well as the west and northwest coast.

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      We don’t know a lot about Atomodine, except that it is more caustic to the skin than nascent iodine. Nascent is gentler though it only ocntains 400 mch per drop in the 2% solution.

      Claudia French
      IMVA staff

  • Liz

    how do you know if you’re deficient?

    • Gilgamesh

      If you put some cheep iodine on your skin at night, maybe a size of a coin, and if the stain will be not visible, and gone by morning, you could be iodine deficient.
      But maybe Dr Mark will answer this better.

      • Claudia – IMVA Staff


        Thank you, your explanation is just fine!

        I would only add that anyone can also get an iodine test from Dr. David Brownstein. Its more expensive and called the Iodine loading test. You take a 50 mg. Iodine tablet in the morining then the amounts of iodine excreted in the urine are measured throughout the next 234 hours. I beleive the less you excrete, the more deficient you are.

        Claudia French

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      See our iodine site here on deficiency….this is a stub from the book. there is more info in the book.

      Basically you can either be tested fir iodine deficiency by one of the iodine doctors like David Brownstein, or you can try the patch test, which some people dont believe is an accurate indicator. Paint a patch of iodine on your inner forearm and if this patch is no longer visible after 18-24 hours, you are probably iodine deficient, as the body absorbed the iodine from your skin. If its still visible, you probably have a good level of iodine in your body.

      Claudia French
      IMVA staff

  • Katie

    Thank you Dr. Sircus for all your informative articles.

    But would you still recommend nascent iodine for someone who has a goiter from Grave’s disease and HYPERthyroidism (overactive thyroid)?

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Hi Katie,

      Yes, Iodine can be beneficial in Hyperthyroidism and Graves Disease as it can help stabilize the thyroid gland’s production of thyroid hormone….(too much is produced in hyperthyroidism)
      But you should do so under the care of a qualified health care practitioner.

  • Always appreciate information that can be trusted. I will record the daily
    dosage range for iodine. Best regards, Joyce

    • Karen Rogers

      Joyce, What exactly are those dosages? I am still very confused when it comes to converting dosages for Nascent.