Iodine-131 Research Paper

683 Words3 Pages
Iodine-131 Iodine-131 is a radioisotope used in the treatment of thyroid cancer and is considered one of the most successful types of cancer treatments. Iodine is stored within the thyroid gland of the body. Humans are unable to make iodine so it must be absorbed through food. Iodine is necessary for the thyroid gland to be able to produce hormones. Iodine deficiency can also be very dangerous and lead to many different health problems. There are many benefits in using Iodine-131, mainly related to the thyroid gland. It can be used to treat hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too many hormones, leading to severe symptoms, including fatigue and muscle weakness, sudden weight loss, rapid heartbeat, increased…show more content…
This treatment is called radioactive iodine treatment, an internal radiotherapy. This operation uses the radioisotope Iodine-131 which circulates throughout the body in the bloodstream. The thyroid cancer cells gather the iodine as the thyroid gland naturally collects iodine within the body. The radiation in Iodine-131 then annihilates the cancer cells in the body. This type of treatment is only able to target certain types of thyroid cancer, including follicular and papillary thyroid cancer. Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common type of thyroid cancer. It affects 80 to 85 percent of all thyroid cancer patients. This form is more common in women and is often diagnosed in younger people. It is a slow growing cancer that can sometimes spread to the lymph nodes or close to the thyroid gland. Follicular cancer is often diagnosed in middle-aged people and affects around 5 to 10 percent of all thyroid cancer patients. This type of cancer can sometimes disperse throughout the body, mainly the lungs and bones. Both of these forms of cancer are usually curable. Radioactive iodine treatment can be used to destroy any remaining cancer cells after surgery, treat thyroid cancer that has spread throughout the body and heal returning thyroid cancer after it has already been…show more content…
In hospitals, Iodine-131 is in the form of a capsule. All unused capsules are reserved on shelves and kept track of through inventory. Solid waste containing Iodine-131 is sent to a temporary storage trolley, designed specifically to allow for the contents to decay 2 or 3 months before being disposed of entirely. Liquid waste is compiled in delay tanks until the radioisotope has decayed completely. When patients are released after treatment, most of the radioiodine in the body will leave through either urine or other secretions in the first two days. In conclusion, although there are some minor side effects involved with taking Iodine-131, the benefits and success rate in the area of thyroid cancers and diseases make it the best possible treatment. There is always the possibility of side effects when using any radiation, but Iodine-131 makes up for this with a 95 percent success rate with just a single
Open Document