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HealthInfo Canterbury

Nuclear medicine therapy

Nuclear medicine therapy uses radioactive material to treat certain diseases or conditions. The type and amount of radiation you receive depends on the treatment you are having.

Radioactive iodine therapy is commonly used to treat thyroid cancer and an overactive thyroid (called hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis).

After surgery for thyroid cancer there may be some thyroid tissue left that the surgeon couldn't remove. Nuclear medicine therapy aims to remove the remaining thyroid tissue. For more information, see Radioiodine for thyroid cancer.

To treat an overactive thyroid, nuclear medicine therapy aims to reduce the amount of overactive thyroid cells. For more information, see Radioiodine treatment for thyrotoxicosis (overactive thyroid).

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical lead, Nuclear Medicine, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed February 2020.


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Review key: HISXN-86976