September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month
If you are a radiology professional, it’s very important to protect this sensitive gland from scatter and direct radiation. According to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, 52,890 people living in the United States will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer this year. The good news is the five-year survival rate for this type of cancer is 98.3%. Exposure to radiation and a family history of thyroid issues are risk factors for thyroid cancer and women are diagnosed with thyroid cancer significantly more than men.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the throat. The gland uses iodine, a mineral found in some foods and in iodized salt, to help make several hormones that control heart rate, body temperature, metabolism, and the amount of calcium in the blood. If you are a radiology professional, it’s very important to protect this gland from scatter and direct radiation through the use of Thyroid collars. Thyroid shields are the best way to minimize the risk of thyroid cancer from radiation exposure during procedures. The annual maximum permissible dose recommended to the thyroid is 300 mSv and a thyroid shield can reduce the effective dose by 2.5 times and the total exposure by almost 50%. It’s important that these shields have at least 0.5-mm lead equivalent thickness for neck and thyroid protection.
While thyroid shields provide effective protection to the thyroid, they do have some limitations. For example, some health care professionals wear thyroid shields loosely or not at all because they are uncomfortable when worn tightly and properly. However, despite this discomfort, wearing the thyroid shield snuggly has a greater effect on protection for the thyroid gland.
The precise risk of scattered radiation to the thyroid is still unknown. However, considering the stochastic effects, protection of the thyroid gland is essential because it can be highly exposed to scatter radiation if a thyroid shield is not worn. A thyroid shield should also be checked for damage with an annual inspection, like that for aprons.
If you are interested in reading more about Thyroid shielding, there is a Policy Statement on Thyroid Shielding During Diagnostic Medical and Dental Radiology from the American Thyroid Association. Reference link is below. 
Z&Z Medical carries a wide array of thyroid collar styles to provide the best protection and optimal comfort while working in the field of Radiology. We even care the NEW Magnetic Thyroid collars that don’t tangle your hair when you put it on. Don’t become a statistic. Protect your Thyroid Gland by wearing a Thyroid Collar. To learn more about Thyroid Cancer Awareness month – September Is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month Free Materials Available Year-Round | ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc.