Doctors and researchers debate the cause of the increased incidence of thyroid cancer and bemoan the inconclusive nature of diagnoses, which often requires intrusive surgery to determine if a patient has a malignancy. Fortunately, thyroid cancer is a very treatable cancer, but the treatments can also be controversial. In this issue, four physicians give their perspectives on the use of radioiodine therapy for thyroid cancer patients (page 16).
Broadening our discourse on the disease, freelance science writer Glenda Fauntleroy introduces readers to an innovative molecular diagnostic tool that promises to drastically reduce the number of surgeries associated with thyroid cancer (page 28).
To continue our special focus on thyroid cancer, Fauntleroy also writes about the risks of getting the disease following the Japanese nuclear plant disaster in May 2011. After interviewing a high-level Japanese health official and an American health expert, she reports on the prognosis for millions of Japanese exposed to the plant’s radiation (page 22).
There’s good news on employment if you want a career in health and medicine. Citing Bureau of Labor statistics, John Bohannon reports on the expected jobs boom in the health industry (page 38).
We know that our bodies carry good bacteria as well as bad, but did we know we are inhabited by trillions of microbes and that a lot of them are useful? After a revelatory study by the National Institutes of Health, reports Shannon Fischer, scientists are itching to figure out how to manipulate body bacteria to serve us even better (page 52).
Marian Smith Holmes