Overtreatment of thyroid cancer with radioactive iodine is rampant even though there is substantial uncertainty about the indications for the use of radioactive iodine for thyroid cancer. Radioactive iodine absorbed by the thyroid injures the gland, and that is exactly what doctors are trying to do.
Between 1990 and 2008, the percentage of patients treated with radioactive iodine climbed from 40 to 56 percent. 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 has been climbing steadily.
According to a study published in Cancer, researchers are fingering doctors who are treating patients with early-stage, low-risk thyroid cancer using radioactive iodine, which does not increase their chances of surviving but does put them at risk for a secondary cancer.
“Our study shows that these low-risk patients do not need radioactive iodine,” Dr. Ian Ganly, one of the study’s authors from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, told Reuters Health. “Therefore there is no need to expose these patients to any risk from (radioactive iodine) treatment,” he said.
The American Thyroid Association endorses the use of radioactive iodine even though it also causes cancer of the salivary gland—where radioactive iodine may accumulate—as well as cause leukemia. Dr. Ganly said the risk of leukemia increases because radioactive iodine circulates in the blood, thus exposing bone marrow to its tissue-killing effects.
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.”
On the Stony Brook Cancer Center site they start with these words, “You will receive radioiodine because you and your doctor have agreed that this is the most appropriate treatment for your thyroid cancer.” Don’t ever agree to the madness of this treatment and run for the hills from any doctor who even suggests that this treatment is appropriate. They are kind enough to tell you that you will become so radioactive that, “If you are treated as an outpatient, family members should not come closer than six feet from you the first day and three feet the second day.”
On orthodox medical sites we will read, “The Cause of Thyroid Cancer is Unknown.” Nobody wants to step out and just say that iodine deficiency can cause thyroid cancer. Some sites 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
Goiter (iodine deficiency)
Women with goiters (a visible, non-cancerous enlargement of
the thyroid gland) owing to iodine deficiency have been found
to have a three times greater incidence of breast cancer.
A high intake of iodine is associated with a low incidence breast
cancer, and a low intake with a high incidence of breast cancer.
Dr. Donald Miller Jr.
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.
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.