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Are we Infecting our Love ones with Radiation?

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

Very Interesting story I found about Cancer Patients and Radioactive iodine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cancer patients sent home after treatment with radioactive iodine have contaminated hotel rooms and set off alarms on public transportation, a congressional investigation has found.


The Story is to long for me to post so please go and see what you think.

Posts: 194
Joined: Aug 2010

I was told when I got radioactive dye injected into me before my PET scan that I was not allow to see any babys or people who are very sick for 2 days.

GraceLibby's picture
Posts: 88
Joined: Jul 2010

After my PET scan, I was informed to be careful if I needed to ride the ferry or go to the airport, as I would set off the alarm system for radioactive materials. They provided me with a slip of paper to confirm that I was injected with radioactive material and to confirm with the hospital. I think they said 2 days. A little worrisome, yes.

Landranger25's picture
Posts: 208
Joined: Nov 2009

I was asked if I had any small children at home and not to let them sit with me for 24 hours. Also, Michigan State police are equipped with detectors so a stop for speeding on the way home might get very interesting as well as a stop at customs at the nearby International border crossing into Canada. (hence the paper giving me permission to be radioactive! Would like to hear more from others if this is something that I should be worried about or more careful than I am trying to be already. Thanks in advance.


sweetblood22's picture
Posts: 3228
Joined: Jan 2010

No one warned me to be careful or asked me about little children or my small dog for that matter. I have to say I found my PET scan to be seriously unsettling. I couldn't believe when they practically put on a suit of armor before opening two lead lined boxes to get at the radioactive material that they would only touch with tongs then were going to shoot into my veins. I've not had another PET since rads. My RO thinks I shouldn't. Risk vs benefits for me.

Off to read the article, thanks for posting it.

Posts: 121
Joined: Jun 2010

Hondo, Thanks for sharing the information. I have had 2 pet scans at 2 different places and neither advised me of any do or donts. I agree with sweets, I am thinking about forgoing the next Pet Scan, which will be scheduled sometime after I finish the 33 rad treatments. 8 left as of today.

Posts: 187
Joined: Apr 2010

My wife has had at least FOUR of these! But what can we do (except to go maybe for scams personal take on prepping for pet cts)

Scathing angry generalization comming up:
Frustratingly the only things that med people have capacity to look at / listen to are reasearch studies.

Sweet, so whats your follow up regim /plan

sweetblood22's picture
Posts: 3228
Joined: Jan 2010

I guess it's just basically physical exams. I am also allergic to contrast dye. I found that out when I had IVP dye and started wheezing and had bad shortness of breath.

I had clean margins when they did the neck disection and the only thing that lit up was the tumor in my neck when they were looking for my primary. I have an ENT appt on the 15th November, so we will see what he says.

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi, Sweetblood22, I also have just had pet scan for neck tumor. I am wondering how your doing now and and more info about your story with neck cancer if you don't mind?
Thanks Alli.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Dawn is doing pretty well....

She's been on a break from here for a little while.

I did pass your message on to her as we chat at times either on FaceBook, or text messages.


forme's picture
Posts: 1162
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi Hondo,
As a survivor of thyroid ca x 3 as of now. I have experienced and will again in Nov the warnings of radioactive iodine. I was told by my onc that I will set of airport alarms for 90+ days. I must spend a week in isolation after i receive my tx. No babies or small children and must stay at least 6 feet away from anyone else. VERY LAME....
I am not looking forward to the rads in Nov. But do want to knock down all the cancer that lives within.

Kent Cass
Posts: 1898
Joined: Nov 2009

Just boggles the mind. We assume that the "experts" know all there is to know, and their silence should be telling us there is no need to be concerned, and now this. Yeah, they bring the stuff they shoot into you in a metal (lead) container, so we know it is hazardous, but I figured it was to protect the PS technician, you know. They tell us to drink plenty of water to flush the system/kidneys, but I had no clue about the stuff making us "off-limits" for a couple days. Thank you for the info, Hondo. My next PS/CT is in April of 2011, and I just might ask the technician some questions.


Pumakitty's picture
Posts: 652
Joined: Mar 2010

My dad has had two PET scans and the only warning they gave him concerned drinking the water and taking his diabetes medication. This is kinda scary. He never told me about the container the stuff was in. Knowing him he never noticed :) or was to busy flirting with nurses.


Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

To this date I have had 6 PET scans and have never been informed about the danger I am to others around me. I am at the point in my life to where I don’t believe I will do or need anymore PET scans if they need to see something an MRI should be just as good except it will not show the complete body like a PET would.

I am afraid the next thing in my life will be radiation cancer from being overdoes of Radiation

Just my take everyone, I don’t want to frighten anyone as sometime you do need the PET, I just don’t think we need them as much as our doctor want to give them to us.

Posts: 22
Joined: Oct 2009

the only way to tell if your cancer is gone is thru a PET scan.i am very surprised that no one told you to stay away from children and pregnant women..thats just a given as you are radioactive...you're only a slight danger for 24 hours

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1576
Joined: May 2009

The technician who walked me back to the waiting room after my PET scan warned me about not going near pregnant women or small children. She also told me that it was such a small dose that I was injected with that most of it was already gone from my system.

I have only had the one PET scan, all of my other scans have been CT but I have no qualms about having another if that's what my docs feel I need. I am one year post treatment so I'm assuming my doctors don't push PET scans too often.

This is just my opinion :)

My best to all,

Joel4's picture
Posts: 256
Joined: May 2010

I have had two since April. I was told both times that I should stay at least four feet away from people and pets for at least 4 hours. They suggested that my wife ride home in the back seat. They also pointed out that my urine was now radioactive and corrosive and that I should flush the toilet/urinal twice after going for the next few hours!
Having said all that, it was the least of my worries.

MarineE5's picture
Posts: 909
Joined: Dec 2005

Hondo posted an article about the Radiation Iodine that patients with Thyroid cancer are given, which is different then what we receive as patients getting a PET scan. We receive a Radiation Glucose. Our radiation glucose is expelled from our bodies in a 24 hour period and is not harmful to our family verses the Radiation Iodine which needs precautions.

The half live of Radiation Glucose is 110, which is 110 minutes once we receive the shot prior to the test. We sit and wait for roughly 45-60 minutes, then we go into the PET Scan machine and spend another 45-60 minutes. We have to wait around to make sure the scan tech's can read the scan clearly before we can leave. This takes about a total of 120 minutes. Now, the glucose starts to lose it's strength after the first 110 minutes.

In the 2rd 110 minutes, the glucoses strength starts to get cut in half. The next 110 minutes the strength gets cut in half again, so each 110 minutes pass the strength reduces in half and generally, in 24 hours we are clear of the radiation glucose. I hope I explained that clearly, not good with explaining myself sometimes. So at first the dose is full strength at 100% the 1st 110 minutes, then 50% strength the 2nd 110 minutes, 25% at 3rd 110 minutes, 12 1/2% the 4th 110 min., etc.

I learned this information on my last PET Scan that didn't go as planned by the hospital. They injected me with the solution from a new machine that they received as it was to protect the Nurses and others that give the radiation glucose daily. The fluid didn't flow into my IV from the new machine and I did the wait period and the PET test before I was told the solution did not get into my body.

I was then given an option to do it over and I asked if they had a Geiger Counter. They said yes, and I had them bring it out and test me to see if I had any solution in me. Nothing. So I said I would do it over again, but I wanted to be injected the old way via needle. After the Doctor made the order, I was given the solution and I had them wait a few minutes and have them test me again with the Geiger Counter at my left ankle as the injection point was my right hand. It buzzed and watched the needle readings, so I knew then that the solution made it's way around my body. Had to redo the PET Scan again. After all that, I got an all clear report a few weeks later.

My Best to Everyone Here

Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012

Hey everyone,
Back in 1982, I was given a big dose of radioactive iodine (pill form) and yes I was not able to touch or be around babies, or kiss my husband....and be careful to wipe down the toilet (on and on). But saying this,this type goes through our entire body and attaches to any and all thyroid tissue in our bodies. I had GRAVES disease, with large noduals. Most of radiation treatments are not inside....unless you have seeds inplanted into tumors. Our scans that contain radioactive material are short lived. My earlier treatment had a 2 week period before it left my body. If you have concerns please ask your radiologist. But panicking does what ? Hondo is right on target though that too much radiation period is not good for us. I asked about my dx, in corrilation to my treatment 30yrs ago....surprise....they think there is a link. But saying this without the treatment I would not have had those 30yrs. Just my opinion....Katie

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