Less than a year ago the media reported on a statement by Dr. Mehmet Oz that the incidence of thyroid cancer was one of the most rapidly growing in women, and mentioned dental x-rays and mammograms as a source. Soon after such a statement, Dr. Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, said in an interview “Our technology has gotten so good that we are finding cancers today that even 15 years ago would not have been diagnosed…we’re finding and treating cancers that would never have killed anyone.” This means that the increased rate of thyroid cancer reported is due to improved cancer detection and not from a higher number of cancers developing.
Recently a new media scare has appeared due to news reports about a study published in Cancer, a magazine of the American Cancer Society citing a possible relationship between dental x-rays and meningioma, a slow growing benign tumor of the brain. But even these reports admit that the study is faulty. Here are some of the reasons that this new study should not be taken seriously and should not have been published.
The study was based on a survey about the participant’s recollection of the estimated number of dental x-rays and the kind of x-rays received during their lifetime, including childhood.
The study did was not based on actual data such as that in the patient’s record. Continue reading