RAI Side Effects

Last Modified: August 14, 2012


What are the side effects of radioactive iodine? Is it always a cure for thyroid cancer?


Kolin Hoff, MD, Endocrinologist at Penn Medicine responds:

The most common long term side effect of radioactive iodine in damage to salivary glands. Short term side effects are change in taste. Radioactive iodine is usually given to ablate the remaining thyroid tissue and help in monitoring for a recurrence. Radioiodine may or may not "cure" thyroid cancer if it has spread.

This question and answer was part of OncoLink's Brown Bag Web Chat Series. View the entire transcript of Focus on Thyroid Cancer.