Medical societies dismiss claims of unsafe radioactive thyroid treatment

Recent research has suggested that radioactive iodine therapy may result in unsafe levels of radioactivity. Despite controversial claims, various medical societies released a statement about their continued support of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) current standards for treatment use, Endocrine Today reports.

Before recent meetings of the NRC, Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), chair of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, contacted the NRC and stated that those treated with radioisotopes - such as those with thyroid cancer - have likely exposed the public to radiation. Markey cited weak NRC regulations, poor supervision of those administering radioactive iodine (I-131) treatments and the absence of clear guidance for patients.

The American Thyroid Association, Endocrine Society, Society of Nuclear Medicine and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists argue that scientific evidence backing the safety of I-131 is strong and that the treatment is safe for patients, their families and the public when radiation instructions are followed properly.

Thyroid cancer is the fastest-growing cancer in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.

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