The studies have shown how survivors continue to develop thyroid nodules, sometime benign and at other times cancerous, that is commensurate with the amount of exposure to radiation. It has also been observed that the younger the person, the greater the chance of developing the nodules. Yet, no clear relation exists between radiation exposure and thyroid autoimmune diseases.
'Careful examination and follow-up of thyroid diseases are still important long -- 55 to 58 years -- after radiation exposure because the present results indicate that radiation dose effects on thyroid nodules, including benign and malignant nodules, were significantly higher in those exposed when young. And the younger-exposed people are now becoming the cancer-prone ages,' said the study's lead author, Dr. Misa Imaizumi, a research scientist and chief of the division of radiology in the department of clinical studies at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Nagasaki, Japan.
The new findings have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.