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Thyroid cancer nuclear medicine therapy

Although surgery is able to remove the primary thyroid cancer, it is often insufficient to deal with thyroid cancer cells that had left the thyroid gland before surgery.

It is often important to “clean up” the small traces of the thyroid gland often remaining after the surgery. This is usually done using radioactive iodine (RAI). RAI is a special, targeted way to safely and directly deliver radiation to thyroid cancer cells anywhere in the body. It is used with whole body scanning to show where the cancer may have spread and it is also used to kill any spread cancer cells. Unlike other kinds of radiation therapy, this is remarkably low risk and with minimal side effects.

This form of nuclear medicine therapy will be discussed with your doctor if it is the recommended treatment.