Thursday, January 03, 2008

Radioactive implants or bone scan? Get a note from your doctor!

From Reuters Health e-line: "Hot" Patients Need Note To Get Through Security http://www.reutershealth.com/archive/2007/12/24/eline/links/20071224elin021.html

Did you get a radiation implant(s) to treat your cancer? Have you had a bone, thyroid, heart, or PET scan lately? On the day of your procedure or when you are released, your doctor should be giving you a note for law enforcement officials that says you recently underwent radioactive treatment, and that would explain why you are setting off the radiation alarms. Otherwise, Lucy, you will have some 'splaining to do.

To answer Jeanne's comment about definition of 'recently', a quote from the story:
"A person who has a bone, thyroid or heart scan with radioactive material, or cancer treatment with radioactive implants, can trigger a radiation alarm for days or even months after the procedure, depending on the type of radiopharmaceutical used, Ansari and colleague Dr. Luba Katz of Abt Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts, explain in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine." (bolded text mine)

This evidently does not apply to IMRT or other radiation therapy where the beams pass out of the body. I still set off the book alarm for a few weeks at the end of my 66cGy worth of radiation, but figure it was due to my crowns being 'hot'. By the time I flew to Boston in October of '06 (radiation ended Sept 20, '06), I went through the screening area just fine.

Thanks to Siobhan for the heads up on this story.

2 comments:

whitneydt said...

Hey, this gives new meaning to your T-Shirt, Ms. Omaha "Hottie." LOL!

Jeanne said...

Wow. Didn't know this. I've had both PET and bone scans lately, but didn't set off any alarms on my recent trip to Tucson. Did the info you saw define "recently"?

Jeanne

 
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