Concerned about how to act

Following total thyroidectomy I have had radioactive iodine injection today to see if the cancer may have spread. I have another injection tomorrow followed by scans on Wed and Thurs.

I have shut myself away from family and pets but I'm not too sure how long I need to be isolated. I am allowing a couple of weeks in my head as I don't want to inffect anyone. Is this reasonable?

Does anyone know if the treatment kills any remaining cancer or is it just to highlight it in the body?

I would welcome any reports from trained medical staff who can advise me.

J Wright

8 Replies

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  • I am sorryou you've gone through a traumatic experience and members who've had the same experience will respond when they read your post.

  • Found this, it might help?? webmd.com/women/radioactive...

  • As you are having further treatment tomorrow I would ask the doctors about the treatment, perhaps make a list of questions to take along. The injections are usually in case there are tiny bits of thyroid tissue that are missed in the operation. However, each case is different and so you need to ask the specialist.

  • Thank you. I asked questions today but the ones administering the injection said they couldn't comment as they didn't know.

  • Steven229,

    You're having low dose RAI for a whole body scan to see whether there are hot spots in the body which are likely to be thyroid cells loosened during surgery and potentially cancerous. The radiation is unlikely to be high enough to ablate any thyroid cells.

    When I had a whole body scan I was given a comprehensive list of restrictions to abide by for 3 weeks to avoid 'contaminating' others. Your hospital should have advised you if contact with pregnant women and under 18s should be restricted. The nuclear physicist told me that in reality the radiation I was giving off wasn't likely to be more than the background radiation everyone is exposed to daily but the precautions were to protect against things unknown today which may become evident in 30 years.

    My vet told me it wasn't necessary to restrict contact with my 9 year old dogs because they wouldn't live long enough to develop problems from any contact radiation picked up from me.

  • Thank you so much. Wishing you continued good health

  • When I had mine I was told how long to stay away from different categories of people. I believe that for just the scan it was either fine to be around people or negligable. For the treatment dose it was several weeks to avoid hugging children. I've heard of people being told wildly different lengths of time.

    Very small cancer or thyroid cells can be destroyed by the scanning dose. I had an unidentified bright mark on my scan, which looked like it might have been a bit of thyroid growing back. The consultant thought it would be destroyed by the iodine I had taken. And sure enough when I had a repeat scan 3 months later it was gone.

  • Thank you very much. I hope mine works out the same! Wishing you lots of good health.

    Jenny

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