Brachytherapy and blood contamination

  1. Im studying for an exam and one of the topics is brachytherapy. One of the practice questions asked if blood was contaminated when a pt has intra-cavity brachytherapy. I figured it as a no, but i am not sure and cant seem to find the information in my textbook. Some students disagree with me also, so now i am stuck.
    I figured the radiation stayed within the source -pill, disc etc.. and the energy ionized out of it and the blood became contaminated with chemotherapy etc.. Can anyone clear this up for me, I ended up just confusing myself further on the subject.
    Thanks in advance for any assistance
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   KrCmommy522
    With internal radiation (brachytherapy), sealed sources of radioactivity are placed near or within the tumor. Radiation treatment can also be administered using liquid materials by mouth or infusion through a vein (systemic radiation) – though, this is less common.

    Bodily fluids and excretions from brachytherapy patients do not represent a radioactive contamination or exposure hazard

    When brachytherapy is done with sealed sources containing radioactive material, the pts body fluids are not contaminated.

    However, when radioactive iodine is used to treat thyroid cancer – Large dose of iodine-131 is administered. The pts body fluids are contaminated with iodine-131. For several days following therapy with radioactive iodine for thyroid cancer, radioactive substances can be emitted through body fluids such as saliva, urine, and sweat.

    Hope this helps some!
  4. by   OU812IC
    Now that made perfect sense, thank you so much :-)
  5. by   KrCmommy522
    Glad I could help!

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