Re: Questions for anyone who has had treatment for thyroid CA following thyroidectomy
Yes, they do scans with the rai treatments, and then they can see if there was any spread.
If you have pappillary, it rarely spreads beyond the neck, if at all. Follicular rarely spreads too, and if it does, sometimes to the bones. Either way, the same RAI treatment you have, takes care of it.
Here's how mine went---every nuclear medicine place takes care of this differently/timing, follow up, etc.:
1. I never took meds. until after treatment, but you can take cytomel up until 2 weeks before (make sure to ask the endo for this, makes a big difference)
2. I went on a low iodine diet 2 weeks prior to RAI to make sure it will destroy all tissue.
3. Went to nuclear med place, took a tracer dose, next day they did a scan to determine my dose of RAI.
4. Went back to nuclear med place, took my treatment dose of radioiodine 131, secluded myself for 3 days.
5. Went on thyroid medication, 3 days after treatment dose, had a scan to see if it was working, and if there was any trace of cancer/thyroid tissue anywhere in my body.
6. 1 year later went for thyroglobulin blood work, and took another scanning dose of rai, had another whole body scan to make sure all cancer/thyroid tissue is gone.
7. Stay on high dose of synthroid to make sure my tsh is suppressed and I don't get a recurrence.
You don't have to worry much about a spread, it usually doesn't spread, and if it does, it usually responds to the same RAI treatment you are getting anyway, that's why thyroid cancer is "good" because it responds to the radioiodine so well, and it destroys all thyroid tissue.