RAI Part 1
This is only used for Papillary and Follicular thyroid cancers.
In some low risk patients it is uncertain whether RAI is required and some patients may therefore be offered the opportunity to take part in the IoN study (Iodine or Not). Further information can be found on the Clinical Trials pages of this website
Like ordinary iodine in the diet, radioactive iodine is taken up by any remaining normal thyroid cells and potentially by thyroid cancer cells as well. The radioactive form of iodine is used to destroy any remaining thyroid cells.
Preparing for RAI
Step 1 - Low Iodine Diet
This is recommended in order to get as much of the radioactive iodine to the treatment areas of the body and to stop iodine in the diet from interfering with the treatment.
Step 2 - Producing A High Level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
There are 2 ways of getting this hormone level high enough in the blood to allow the radioactive iodine to do what it needs to do.
Side effects from rhTSH are uncommon and generally mild. Some people feel sick, have a headache or feel weak with aching muscles ( like having flu) after their injections. This is best managed with rest, plenty of fluids and paracetamol. A few people have experienced a rash.
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Thyroid Cancer Forum UKDr. Kate Garcez
Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, M20 4BX
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