Thyroid Cancer Prevention

There is so much mixed information when it comes to healthcare these days. Social media has certainly provided a forum for minor medical alerts to become overblown data flooding our newsfeeds. While we can get whiplash with all the back and forth regarding topics such as water quality, refined sugars, carbohydrates, etc., there are sometimes clear cut ways to protect ourselves from possible dangers.

There is no way around it – thyroid cancer is on the rise. Probably one of the most treatable cancers, it is still a diagnosis no one wants to receive. Women are three times as likely to develop thyroid cancer, and some are pointing the finger at exposure to radiation as a possible cause for the increase. The thyroid gland is very susceptible to radiation, and most of us are not aware of how much radiation we expose our bodies to when we think we are doing what is right. This includes getting mammograms and dental X-rays. While it may seem like this amount of radiation is harmless, consistent exposure can be very damaging.

Luckily, there are simple measures that can be taken to decrease the risks this type of radiation can cause. When getting a mammogram or dental X-ray, ask the technician for a thyroid guard which is a lead collar that wraps around your neck and protects your thyroid gland from the radiation of an X-ray.

No matter what the current statistics or beliefs about radiation’s link to the rise in thyroid cancer cases, it never hurts to be careful. Better safe than sorry, right? Besides, there is no increased cost associated with asking for the guard – your dentist and any other medical professional performing X-rays should have thyroid guards on hand…all you have to do is ask!

In addition to avoiding radiation, there are other ways in which you can help increase the health of your thyroid:

  • Get a thyroid check-up. High levels of TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) are a direct link to thyroid cancer.
  • Take care of your gut with probiotics. Beneficial bacteria exists in foods like apple cider vinegar, fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, leafy green vegetables, coconut oil and garlic. Goat’s milk and yogurt are also really great options!
  • Don’t allow yourself to get sucked in by quick fixes or trends. Do your research, and check with medical professionals before starting any kind of supplement or vitamin.

As with any medical situation, any concerns should be discussed with your doctor.  This article is meant to be informative, but should not take place of a proper diagnosis.