Yet another possible problem caused by breast cancer treatment

New research suggests that radiation treatment may be causing some hypothyroidism in breast cancer patients.

In a study published online today in the Journal of Radiation Oncology, women who had been treated for breast cancer with radiation were significantly more likely to have hypothyroidism than women from the general population.

In the Norwegian study, self-reported thyroid disease was higher in the 403 breast cancer patients who had had radiation therapy, compared to an age-matched control group from the general population (18% vs. 6%, p < .001).   The increased thyroid disease was mostly due to an increase in hypothyroidism after breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The investigators conclude that hypothyroidism is significantly increased in women after treatment for Stage II/III breast cancer and that radiation to the thyroid gland may be a contributing factor.   They recommend that breast cancer patients be screened for hypothyroidism.

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  • E  On October 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Very interesting. I will probably need radiation therapy for DCIS and I have multinodular goiter and hypothyroidism. I will make sure to discuss this with the radiation oncologist.

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