Teen with thyroid cancer searches for cause

A teenager from North Carolina who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer may have made a discovery about the condition, WECT news channel 6 reports.

Sarah Sullivan, a 17-year-old high school student, formed her senior project on thyroid cancer. While the teen was researching potential causes of her condition, she came across a study which suggested that patients who wear a collared apron during x-rays help prevent their risk for developing cancer. The report from Kuwait said that without the collar, radioactive waves can access the thyroid gland, according to the news source.

Sullivan later went to her dentist's office to see if he used the aprons. The office does implement the thyroid collars, but Sullivan still believes her cancer may be the result of radiation she received while getting x-rays over the years, according to the media outlet.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 44,670 new thyroid cancer cases - 33,930 women and 10,740 men - will be diagnosed nationwide this year. Nearly two-thirds of the cases occur in people between the ages of 20 and 55.