RAI Restrictions With Children

Last Modified: August 14, 2012


My cancer has to be treated with radioactive iodine. Does this mean I will be radioactive? Is this dangerous? What precautions should I take if I have small grandchildren in the house?


Kolin Hoff, MD, Endocrinologist at Penn Medicine responds:

After taking radioiodine you will excrete the radiation for the next several days to weeks. In most cases we suggest avoiding close contact with other people for about 5 days after treatment. pregnant women and young children are most at risk so it is advised not to share eating or drinking utensils with other people, sleep alone, avoid kissing or intimate contact. The risk of radiation need to be balanced against the risk of malignancy. The risks precautions need to be explained to you in detail by your endocrinologist and nuclear medicine doctor.

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