Thyroid UK

If my son stays with me after radioactive treatment for o/active thyroid, will it affect me as I have had radiotherapy for breast cancer?

I also take blood pressure tablets and have had my Aortic Artery replaced due to an aneurism. He has 15 year old twin daughters so needs to be isolated from them as it is possible to affect the fertility of young women immediately after treatment.

6 Replies

Sorry you have had no replies - hopefully someone with relevant knowledge will pick this up from Latest Activity...




The general rules are stay an arms length away from people for about a week or 2, limit any close contact. There is no need for isolation, his daughters would be fine as long as they kept to the distance advice.

When I had rai my daughters were small, youngest 3, I did everything as usual including the school run, just kept them from close contact. My husband has also had cancer so I asked the same question and was told it wasn't a problem.

There is a lot of panic over rai but it really is no big deal, just follow the guidance from your hospital, all hospitals differ in the advice.


I would personally seek more clarification on the dose and strength of RAI. How old is your son? There is a lot of useful information on RAI on Stop the Thyroid Madness. Please keep your decision informed as hospitals are not as transparent as they should be with the information that they give you.


Hi there

Can I ask why your son is being offered RAI? I had Graves disease and thyroid cancer but I refused RAI treatment. I'm not saying don't do it but I'm one of those people who does think RAI is a really big deal and my suggestion would be only do it if its absolutely necessary. WIth my type of cancer my chances of survival were as a good as woman who'd never had cancer provided I stay TSH suppressed for life. Personally I think endos are too quick to rush the patient into a definitive treatment for Graves (I'm assuming it's graves) rather than wait. Also the dose for cancer is much higher than for Graves but the latter is a bit hit and miss. Most people either need more than one or are sent hypo. Both are not much fun. For Graves disease you might like this article:

When RAI was explained to me I was told I'd need to stay away from family and friends for six weeks and I'd still set off airport detectors three months after treatment.

Best wishes



Hi again, I absolutely agree with GirlScout. My RAI was for cancer and I had very high doses X5. The advise given in the states appears to be much more comprehensive than in this country and it was handled poorly. Geiger counters pick up small doses of radioactivity and have been known to identify radiation downstairs when the patient is upstairs many meters away. I was so lied to and misinformed but it was a necessity for me to have RAI as my cancer was metastatic. I do not want to alarm you but please do your own research with your son and make a decision that is right for him. You need clarification on diagnosis, treatment options and outcomes based on evidence...Good luck with your choice


Your son will be given a printed list of restrictions. I had 100mCi Iodine-131. Restrictions were:

For 12 days: Avoid close contact with people. Journey via public transport not to exceed 1 hour. Sit in back of car diagonally from driver. Keep a separate set of crockery & cutlery & wash separately from other utensils. Don't prepare food for others or go to dentist, hairdresser, pubs, clubs or cinema. Drink plenty of fluids & shower frequently. Avoid splashing urine & double flush toilet.

For 23 days: Avoid close contact with pregnant women & under 18s.

Nuclear physician advised me the level of exposure to others was hardly more than the level of background radiation everyone is exposed to every day. The restrictions are precautionary, in case research in 30 years reveal risks not understood or realised today.

I allowed my darling 11 year old dogs to sleep on my bed reasoning they'd be over the rainbow bridge before contamination, if any, could affect them. I discouraged them from licking me though :)

Ps if your son has TED, RAI can worsen this condition. As others have said, research further.


You may also like...