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Will my RAI be screwed up if I don't move out of my house?

Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2012

First the facts as I understand them from the research papers I have read.

- one of the sine non qua of follicular Thyca is capsular/vascular invasion.

- follicular cancer tends to met to the lungs and bones; and if it is going to met, it does so in the first 12 years.

- fully encapsulated FVPTC with capsular/vascular invasion tends to follow the path of follicular Thyca, although currently classified as a papillary cancer

- I have E-FVPTC with capsular/vascular invasion; no thyroid capsule penetration; clean lymph nodes.

- It is rare for E-FVPTC to be found in the lymph nodes of the neck if the tumor has not penetrated the thyroid capsule. Usually at presentation all lymph nodes are found to be benign.

-Hashimoto's and people with many autoimmune disorders are more likely to have thyroglobulin antibodies (I had Hashimoto's thyroiditis and am being tested for SLE due to abundant AI issues.)

-I am not certain of this. I found it in at least one source, but I was looking for other info. It is logical. Follicular cancer, if it has metastasized and survived the original RAI, then it is likely not Iodine avid.

So I feel I may have only one shot at the RAI.

Tonight's primary concern is that my house is full of betadine dust, particles and dander. Up until yesterday I used it to treat skin issues on my dogs with betadine. It can enter the body if it is moist; so via clothes (fabric) when we sweat or touch something with wet hands or use a contaminated towel to dry off. Or it can enter via the lungs on particulate matter like dust and dander. I can't clean this house appropriately before the RAI, and in fact if I started now, short of clearing my house of all objects and bringing a hose and wet vac in, I couldn't clean it in a normal lifetime. Every article in the house, all furniture, rugs, carpet etc would have to be decontaminated. I have no one I could impose on for 2+ weeks, I can't imagine isolating myself to one room, and short of cleaning the furnace and heating ducts it would do no good. I want to be told I am making a big deal out of nothing, but I don't know how much iodine it takes to block RAI. The menu I was given is very lenient and I certainly am going to follow a far more strict diet. I am worried that I will not achieve the low iodine levels I need in order to adequately absorb the RAI when they give it to me on the 26th. I am washing all clothes and things I use personally very well and setting them aside in a separate bedroom. The dogs will be washed tomorrow or Saturday whenever we can manage it. The house will be vacuumed several times. It is a large house, and short of a professional decontamination job, it can't be done. Who would think an otherwise safe antiseptic could present a problem like this?

Has anyone been told that they didn't absorb the RAI because they had too much regular iodine in their system? For example they screwed up the diet? I suspect they can tell by looking at the scan because the thyroid bed and the intestines wouldn't show much RAI as it was blocked by non-RAI.

Baldy's picture
Posts: 243
Joined: Mar 2011

The question is, can Iodine be absorbed through the skin into the blood stream? I'm guessing, but I don't think you need to worry about it. To be sure, call the people who will be administering your RAI for you. {The nuclear medicine dept?} If anyone knows, they will, and if they don't know, they should be able to find out.


alapah's picture
Posts: 287
Joined: Oct 2009

A few people have reported having had their iodine levels tested just prior to administration of RAI. My hospital didn't do that as part of their process - at the time, I wasn't eve aware that they could check it. If you have concerns about your levels being affected, I'd do as Baldy suggests and maybe you can also ask if your levels can be tested before they administer the RAI.

Baldy's picture
Posts: 243
Joined: Mar 2011

I had mine tested before RAI but also before the LID because I had had a CT scan wih iodine contrast 4 or 5 months before that and the endo wanted to make sure my levels had returned to normal before he had me start the process.

I think it's strange they don't check iodine levels as part of the LID-RAI process, since the test is a simple urine test. It seems to me that monitoring iodine levels of RAI patients just before they start the LID and just before they take the RAI would be useful in determining exactly how LID effects RAI, {and once this is known, setting the RAI dosage.}


Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2012

My radiation oncologist and physicist have given me guidelines that are not nearly as strict as most of the resources I've read. For me, they are most concerned about the first 72 hours and children under the age of 12 but especially under the age of 4. Since I have a 14yo and a 7yo the restrictions are less strict as well. To summarize what they recommend (for me at least) is basically 3 days after the ingestion of the RAI the following: sleep alone, limit close contact as much as possible (even a few feet can make a difference), do not share bodily fluids (kissing, etc), use separate eating utensils (we're going with all disposable), use a separate bathroom than rest of the household if possible. If separate bathroom is not possible then cleaning out shower/tub after use, cleaning sink after use, flushing toilet 2-3 times after use and cleaning after use.

Those are the main concerns they had. Regarding prepping for the RAI they were also much less strict. My rad onc only instructed me to not eat seafood or eat sea salt and to avoid the red dye(s). I discussed some of the info from the low iodine diet and he said that I can do that if I'd like but he's not concerned if I don't follow a stringent LID. Of note, I will be getting the Thyrogen injections before my RAI so I don't know if that changes anything in the planned treatment but just thought this might help answer some questions.

Also of note, my husband asked the rad onc about what the concerns would be for possible radioactive contamination. The answer had a lot of technical terms but mainly he said that due to the half life of the RAI the risk is actually very low regarding contamination.

Hope some of that info helps.

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