One of the wonderful things about being a writer is people send you all sorts of snippets – without which I would never have heard of Dr Oz. Not as you might think a native Antipodean, his is actually from the USA. Dr Mehmet Oz – wonderful name don’t you think – will be known to you if you were an Oprah fan because he was a regular for many years on her show.
His ‘day job’ is as a cardiothoracic surgeon and also a teaching Professsor at Columbia University and now has his own Dr Oz Show broadcast nationwide – where does he get the energy? On one of his shows he talked about what he named as growing danger of thyroid cancer, particularly for women. It’s not breast or ovarian cancer that is spreading the fastest but this little known cancer and there may be a link to your dental check ups and treatment.
Dr Oz talked about how the increase in the number of dental x-rays and mammograms needs to be addressed, particularly from the safety point of view. It is down to the apron the dentist puts on you for dental x-rays – or rather doesn’t put on completely. Have a close look next time you are in the chair because there is a little flap that can be lifted up and wrapped around your neck. Noteworthy words are ‘can be’ but in fact many dentists don’t bother to use it. Nor apparently do the technicians doing mammograms, even though they do have something called a “thyroid guard” for use during the procedure.
This is a hypothesis by Dr Oz, but a little prevention when it comes to a potential cancer risk is well worth feeling embarrassed or a fool for asking for this safety precaution. Next time you have an x-ray, dental or mammogram, ask to have the guard in place – they will have it even if it is tucked away in a drawer and not routinely used.