TABLE 3 Interpreting the Results

SCOREa

WHAT IT MEANS

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

Less than _____

For all practical purposes, you have no risk of radiation related thyroid cancer. Your lifetime risk of developing thyroid cancer is the same as for people not exposed to radiation, about 1 in 400 for males, and 1 in 150 for females.b

Nothing.

_____ to _____

You have been exposed to a risk of very small magnitude; when compared with many other risks, it is of little consequence. Your lifetime risk of developing radiation related thyroid cancer is equal to an increase of a few percent over the background rate of thyroid cancer. This would mean your lifetime risk would be about 1 in _____ for males, and about 1 in _____ for females.

Nothing.

_____ to _____

You have been exposed to a moderately increased risk of thyroid cancer. Your lifetime risk of radiation related thyroid cancer is about twice that of people not exposed to radiation, or about 1 in _____ for males, and 1 in _____ for females.

If you are concerned, read the enclosed section of this brochure about thyroid cancer.c

_____ to _____

Your risk of thyroid cancer could be significantly greater than normal. Your lifetime risk of radiation related thyroid cancer could be within the following range: on the low side it would be 1 in _____ for males, and 1 in _____ for females; on the high side it could be as much as 1 in _____ for males or 1 in for females.

If you are concerned, read the enclosed section of this brochure about thyroid cancer.c

a The committee has discussed the issues of public numeracy and suggests that a useful scale would be a range from less than 1.0 to 100.

b Lifetime risk for unexposed persons is discussed in Chapter 3 of this report.

c This committee recommends that DHHS develop suitable written materials as part of this model Web page or brochure that would provide information to the person about the nature and course of thyroid cancer and the possible risks and benefits of testing for thyroid disease. The written material might use some of the information provided in this report in the background paper (Appendix F) and from the section of Chapter 4 that addresses the benefits and harms of screening. Information concerning thyroid cancer is available on numerous Web sites including those of the NCI, the American Cancer Society, the Hanford Health Education Network, and the American Thyroid Association.



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