What to expect after RAI?

Hi,
I have completed my RAI and I am on my last day of isolation. I go back tomorrow for another WBS (this one is not supposed to take as long as the 1.5 hour one right before I was administered the RAI). I'm just wondering what happens after this scan and what are they doing the scan for? Will you get a report from the Nuclear Med physician about what they see? How long is it before you get news.....the same day or do you have to wait for a few days? I do not have another appt. with my endo doctor until April. Thanks for any insight from the members that have already been there.

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In my experience, they did the scan afterwards to be sure first that the RAI uptake was correct and it actually worked. They can look at the areas of the body where the RAI went and ensure that nothing was missed from the initial tracer dosage. They can also tell how well it's worked through your body... for example, in most cases (like mine) your bladder should be "glowing" afterwards indicating that it is working through your system and out your body. In my case the Nuclear Medicine Doctor did meet with me afterwards, but just to explain that everything looked like it worked like it was supposed to as far as uptake of the RAI. As for "the news" if you're meaning the news that you're cancer free... unfortunately that will be about a year longer. They can't really tell after the first RAI treatment if it really got rid of all of the cancer tissue. That part doesn't come until your folllow-up scan about one year later, as the RAI can continue to work through your body, the tissue continues dying, etc. for 8-12 months. Unless your Endo and Doctors handle things differently, it will still be awhile longer before you can expect to hear that you are "cancer free".

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Thanks for the insight. I have done this now and the doctor just said it appeared to work fine. I have Hurthle cell follicular so I'm a little paranoid because this type of cell does not absorb the Radioactive iodine as well as the other cells. The doctor said that it tends to go to the bone and lungs and she felt it would have shown up in the bone but not as much in the lungs. She suggested I get my endo to order a CT scan on the chest to get a better peace of mind. There is so much to learn about this disease. They said I would have another scan in a year but I didn't realize it still killed those cells for up to a year. This community is great support for helping you understand better. Thanks again!

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Gayle, don't be alarmed if the wbs shows uptake in your sinuses, bladder, kidneys, GI tract (small/large intestines) as well as your neck. First we swallow the pill which exposes us to the RAI then we absorb the dose followed by our cells excreting it. Any news yet? Alwyas ask for a copy of all reports and tests.

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