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After the recent catastrophic events in Japan, radiation fears have spiked. Doctors across the United States, including UW’s own Herbert Chen, MD, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Endocrine Surgery, have been fielding calls from patients about radiation exposure. Health.com contacted Dr. Chen, a national leader in the field on thyroid cancer surgery, to comment on the correlation between radiation and thyroid cancer.

“The risk of thyroid cancer [from radiation] is negligible in adults,” Dr. Chen explains. “The risk is predominantly in children and doesn’t happen for 20 years. Also, the cancer is generally very well treated and not life-threatening.”

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