Q. What are long-term cancer implications of receiving radiation due to I-131 treatments?

Answered by
Dr. Chitrangada
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on May 31, 2018

Hello doctor,

What are the long-term cancer implications of receiving 1500 to 2000+ mSv of radiation due to I-131 treatments and substantial diagnostic testing?

Dr. Chitrangada

Radiodiagnosis Radiology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

The I-131 treatment aims to destroy the remnant thyroid cells in the body. Short-term side effects of RAI (radioactive iodine) treatment are as follows:

  1. Local tenderness and swelling.
  2. Nausea.
  3. Swelling and tender of the salivary glands and resultant dry mouth.
  4. Reduced tear formation.

Radioactive iodine may also affect ovaries, and some women may have irregular periods for a few months. Both men and women who have had RAI therapy may have a slightly increased risk of developing leukemia in the future. Though this is an extremely rare complication.

For more information consult an interventional radiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/interventional-radiologist

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