Side Effects of RAI Months After Treatment
Doctors may use RAI, or radioactive iodine therapy, to treat patients with thyroid cancer. Radioactive iodine destroys a patient's thyroid gland to kill all cancer cells in the thyroid. This therapy may have some long-term effects.
According to the American Cancer Society, male patients who have received radioactive iodine therapy may develop lower sperm counts and the therapy rarely causes infertility.
Women may experience irregular menstrual periods for up to one year after RAI and the treatment may have other effects on the ovaries.
Doctors may recommend that women do not become pregnant until six to 12 months after radioactive iodine therapy because of potential complications in the female reproductive system.
Patients may have a slightly higher risk of developing leukemia after undergoing radioactive iodine therapy.
Short-Term Side Effects
Radioactive iodine therapy patients may experience short-term effects such as neck tenderness, upset stomach or dry mouth. Tender salivary glands and changes in the sense of taste may occur after this type of treatment.Tags: iodine therapy, radioactive iodine, radioactive iodine therapy, Side Effects, After Treatment, Effects Months, Effects Months After