What is the role of radioactive iodine in thyroid cancer treatment?

After total thyroidectomy for cancer, if patients meet certain criteria, they may be given a dose of radioactive iodine (RAI) to destroy (i.e. ablate) the remaining thyroid tissue. This treatment is usually done 6 to 8 weeks after the thyroidectomy. In addition, during their follow-up, if the thyroglobulin level rises, an RAI scan may be ordered looking for recurrent disease. If there is recurrent or metastatic disease, a larger dose of RAI may be given to ablate them. Depending on the amount needed to destroy the cells, you may need to be hospitalized to monitor you and reduce the risk of radiation exposure to family and friends. Typically, only one dose of RAI ablation is needed. It is critical to consult with a thyroid specialist who can help determine the need, ideal dose, and safe administration of RAI for thyroid cancer.

Continue Learning about Thyroid Cancer Treatment

How is hyperthyroidism treated?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Hyperthyroidism treatment is usually determined by the cause of the increased thyroid hormone. Peopl...
More Answers
How do medications treat papillary thyroid cancer?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Your doctor may recommend that you inject radioactive iodine to treat any thyroid cancer cells in yo...
More Answers
What is a thyroid lobectomy for thyroid cancer?
American Association of Endocrine SurgeonsAmerican Association of Endocrine Surgeons
A thyroid lobectomy involves removing the half of the thyroid gland that has the nodule. It is s...
More Answers
When is radioactive iodine treatment performed for thyroid cancer?
American Association of Endocrine SurgeonsAmerican Association of Endocrine Surgeons
Radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment is usually done 3 to 6 weeks after surgery, depending on how the ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.