Radioactive iodine 'commonly overused' in low-risk thyroid cancer

Survey of US patients suggests almost half are receiving the therapy despite guidelines advising it may not be needed

The use of radioactive iodine (RAI) to treat low-risk thyroid cancer appears to be common, despite contrary guideline advice, a US survey suggests.

Man with thyroidectomy scar

Using data from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registries for Georgia and Los Angeles County, the researchers identified adults with low-risk thyroid cancer and linked them to their treating general surgeons, otolaryngologists and endocrinologists.

Patients were only eligible if they fell into categories for which no or selective RAI use was