Radioactive Iodine Treatment

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As a followup to my thyroidectomy surgery, I will be going through a Radioactive Iodine Treatment next week. The purpose of the treatment is to kill any cancer cells that may still remain after surgery. Thyroid cells are the main cells in the body that absorb iodine so the injection basically delivers the radioactive solution to any remaining cells which kills them.

It starts with increasing my levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). The purpose of this is because cancerous cells don’t take up the radioactive iodine as easily as the healthy thyroid cells do so the increased hormone level promotes the visibility of those cells.

There are a couple ways of doing this but the method in my case will be to receive injections of “synthetic human recombinant” TSH two days in a row followed by the radioactive iodine on the third day.

We will start the TSH injections on Monday with the iodine on Wednesday. Then I lay low for 3 days with cautions about staying alone as much as possible to avoid exposing others to radiation. My understanding is that mine will be a relatively low level so the risk is low.