ABCs of radioiodine therapy for thyroid cancer

ABCs of radioiodine therapy for thyroid cancer

ABCs of radioiodine therapy for thyroid cancer

ABCs of radioiodine therapy for thyroid cancer Part 2

During radioactive iodine treatment

Radioactive iodine treatment takes place in the hospital. Find out how you have it and what happens.

Where do you have radioactive iodine treatment

To have radioactive iodine treatment, you go into hospital. You will be looked after in a single room, where you stay alone. You usually stay there for a few days.

Having the treatment

You usually have the iodine as a drink or capsule. You won’t be able to eat or drink for a couple of hours so that your body can absorb the iodine. After that, you can eat normally.

The treatment makes you slightly radioactive and you will stay alone in a single room for a few days until your radiation levels have fallen. A radiation monitor (Geiger counter) may be used to check your levels of radioactivity or test anything that is taken out of your room. Some of your possessions may be kept on the ward for a couple of days if they show any radioactivity. After that time, they will be safe again and the nurses will give them back to you to take home.

You should try to drink plenty of fluids to help flush the radioactive iodine out of your system.

Your sweat and urine is radioactive during this time. Your sheets may be changed every day and the hospital staff may ask you to flush the toilet more than once after you have used it.

Protecting others from the radiation

Being in a room on your own (isolation) protects other people from radiation. Pregnant women and children are not allowed into your room. Other visitors are only able to stay for a short time each day. And the amount of time staff are allowed into your room is limited.

It is important that you know that you are not at any risk from the radiation. The staff in the hospital give this treatment to many people. So, the amount of radiation they are exposed to has to be limited.

Coping with isolation

Being looked after in a single room can feel lonely. Some people find it frightening. It can help to talk to the nurses about your worries. They can reassure you.

Taking in some of your personal things can make the room feel more homely. Books, photographs and an ornament or two can brighten it up. You can also take in a mobile phone, laptop, electronic tablet or music player to make the time pass more enjoyably and keep in touch with friends and family.

During radioactive iodine treatment

Radioactive iodine treatment takes place in the hospital. Find out how you have it and what happens.

Where do you have radioactive iodine treatment

To have radioactive iodine treatment, you go into hospital. You will be looked after in a single room, where you stay alone. You usually stay there for a few days.

Having the treatment

You usually have the iodine as a drink or capsule. You won’t be able to eat or drink for a couple of hours so that your body can absorb the iodine. After that, you can eat normally.

The treatment makes you slightly radioactive and you will stay alone in a single room for a few days until your radiation levels have fallen. A radiation monitor (Geiger counter) may be used to check your levels of radioactivity or test anything that is taken out of your room. Some of your possessions may be kept on the ward for a couple of days if they show any radioactivity. After that time, they will be safe again and the nurses will give them back to you to take home.

You should try to drink plenty of fluids to help flush the radioactive iodine out of your system.

Your sweat and urine is radioactive during this time. Your sheets may be changed every day and the hospital staff may ask you to flush the toilet more than once after you have used it.

Protecting others from the radiation

Being in a room on your own (isolation) protects other people from radiation. Pregnant women and children are not allowed into your room. Other visitors are only able to stay for a short time each day. And the amount of time staff are allowed into your room is limited.

It is important that you know that you are not at any risk from the radiation. The staff in the hospital give this treatment to many people. So, the amount of radiation they are exposed to has to be limited.

Coping with isolation

Being looked after in a single room can feel lonely. Some people find it frightening. It can help to talk to the nurses about your worries. They can reassure you.

Taking in some of your personal things can make the room feel more homely. Books, photographs and an ornament or two can brighten it up. You can also take in a mobile phone, laptop, electronic tablet or music player to make the time pass more enjoyably and keep in touch with friends and family.

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