Radioactive Iodine treatment

Hi Ladies - a coworker is having this done for thyroid cancer. Everytime i talk to her about it she can't be around pregnant women or small children for different periods of time. First it was 24 hrs, then a 3 days...then a week then 11 days!! I don't want to be around her at all but i will have to eventually. Anyone had to avoid this situation? If so, for how long? I have been told i can work out of a different office but we are not sure of how long is appropriate. I'm going to ask my peri tomorrow but wondered what your personal experience might be.


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Re: Radioactive Iodine treatment

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    I'm just a lurker on this board, but I thought I'd provide you some insight.  After 3.5 days she really won't be excreting iodine through her sweat or salivary glands.  Radioactively it will take approximately 56 days for the iodine to decay to the point it cannot be detected above natural background radiation. 

    How long your should avoid her depends on the size of dose she was given and how close of contact you'll have with her.  Honestly, after a week I believe you are more than safe, provided you aren't exchanging blood or fecal matter with her or actually "necking" where you are putting yourself excessively close to her thyroid.  The type of radiation it gives off (beta particles) can't travel very far and likely can't make it out of her body.

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