Answer to Question #7785 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Nuclear Medicine Patient Issues — Therapeutic Nuclear Medicine

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:

Q
A family member, a 36-year-old female, had thyroid surgery followed by iodine-131 therapy three years ago. Recently she had a whole-body PET (positron-emission tomography) scan, which came out clear. She wants to have a baseline mammogram done, and she would like to know how long she should wait after her PET. She is concerned with the added radiation dose/risk.
A

She needs to wait until the next day, when all the fluorine-18 has decayed away. But besides that, there is no reason to wait to have a mammogram. The radiation doses from mammograms are small and unimportant as far as risk.

Diagnostic exams should not be a concern following iodine-131 therapy. It is important to have screening scans for cancer and any other diagnostic exams that her physician feels are needed for her ongoing post-therapy care.

Carol S. Marcus, PhD, MD
Professor of Radiation Oncology and of Radiological Sciences, UCLA

Marcia Hartman

 

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