Hi Doctor. I'm wondering what the standard practice is for post I-131 thyroid cancer ablation. I'm getting my first thyrogen assisted whole body scan on Friday and wondering if I would repeat this for another five years or so, or if blood tests to check thyroglobulin levels are going to be considered enough. I hate doing the low-iodine diet in preparation, but want to do what is considered the "gold standard" (as one doctor once put it to me) in post papillary thyroid cancer care and would like to choose a doctor (if I decide to change endocrinologists at some point) that follows through with good follow-up for me! Thank you!
For low risk patients who have had thyroidectomy and remnant ablation, I-131 scanning may not be necessary at all, but most still do it. A one-time thyrogen stimulated throglobulin level 9-12 months after initial treatment may be all that is needed (assuming a negative result -- <1-2). Then good ultrasound follow-up and suppressed Tg levels. IF higher risk or Tg-Antibody positive, then the I-131 WBS may be more regular/useful part of follow-up. In general, the combination of Tg levels and good ultrasound will pick up most recurrent/persistent cancer.
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