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radioiodine treatment leads to other cancers??

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Old 06-28-2006, 06:35 PM   #1
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LauraJane HB User
radioiodine treatment leads to other cancers??

Hello - I had my thyroid removed due to cancer in 2002. I also did a dose of the radioiodine to kill any remaining tissues. Now, I just was diagnosed with a lump in my arm which is a soft tissue mass - cancer. I am 36 and can only believe that the radiation therapy has made me prone for other cancers.

Has anyone had this type of problem?

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Old 06-29-2006, 02:03 AM   #2
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carroc HB User
Re: radioiodine treatment leads to other cancers??

I thought the radioactive Iodine only affects thyroid tissue. If this is the case, perhaps it is not related. Have you spoken to your doctor...what does he/she think?

Old 06-29-2006, 06:38 AM   #3
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Re: radioiodine treatment leads to other cancers??

The entire body is exposed to a very low dose of radiation with RAI treatment. Since thyroid tissue "sucks" it up that exposure is brief and any harm to other parts of the body is minimal. The sites most likely to be affected are the bladder and salivary glands.

That said, ANY radiation exposure has the potential for damage but I don't believe the answer to your specific question is knowable.

Old 06-29-2006, 07:07 AM   #4
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Re: radioiodine treatment leads to other cancers??

Hi, LauraJane,

So sorry hear about the cancer in your arm! I'm wondering if maybe the fact that you had thyroid cancer might have predisposed you to cancer in other places, rather than it being from the RAI treatment? I'm new to this, just having had RAI two weeks ago, so this is just a thought.

Of the people I know who have had RAI (which is VERY limited), one had RAI 10 years ago for hyperthyroidism (cause never determined), a lady in my church had RAI 30 years ago after having surgery for thyroid cancer, and one had RAI 8 months ago (Graves' hyperT). None of these ladies has ever had cancer anywhere else.

In my research, and like Archie said, the thyroid "sucks up" the majority of the radioactive iodine. The rest leaves the body "in the bathroom"! A book I recently purchased states, "When beta particles of I-131 are released inside the thyroid cells or cancer cells, they travel an average of 2.2 millimeters before their energy is completely absorbed by the thyroid or thyroid cancer deposit. This permits the I-131 treatment to specifically target thyroid cancer cells without bothering other nearby body cells." (The Complete Thyroid Book by Kenneth Ain, MD and M. Sara Rosenthal, Ph.D.).

Please keep us updated!


Old 06-29-2006, 08:11 AM   #5
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Re: radioiodine treatment leads to other cancers??

If you are seeing an oncologist, ask about it.

My mom's says (like I said last time you posted a few days ago) that having one cancer indicates that you are more genetifcally likely (predisposed) to getting another cancer.

The very rare increased likelihood of cancer from RAI that I've noticed in the literature, are for blood cancers, like leukemia. Maybe a soft tissue cancer can come from radioiodine too. Can there be others from the exposure to Radioiodine? I asked my Nuclear Med. doctors, and they said that the risks were very very low. Could they have been wrong? Sure. I did, like you, what I had to do, to get rid of my thyroid cancer with the best info. I had. There are really very few quality studies on this topic.

Ask your doctors. But in the meantime, you need to focus on getting rid of this lump, and getting better for your family. You can't change the past.

Last edited by Reece; 06-29-2006 at 09:44 AM.

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