Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Cancer of the Thyroid Prevention

What Can I do to Prevent Thyroid Cancer?

Most people with thyroid cancer do not have any known risk factors for it, so it is often difficult to prevent. Your best chances of a cure for thyroid cancer is to start therapy when the cancer first begins to grow.

Thyroid cancer has been linked to low iodine levels in the diet and to radiation exposure, especially during childhood. In the United States, iodine is added to salt and some breads. This supplementation helps to reduce the risk of thyroid disorders, including thyroid cancer. Additionally, doctors today try to limit children's radiation exposure during medical testing and therapy. If your child needs radiation to the throat or upper chest area, ask what measures will be taken to minimize his or her future thyroid cancer risk. It is a good idea to avoid X-rays and other forms of radiation in children and adults as much as possible.

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