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When to wean for radioactive iodine (I-131) treatment?

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  • When to wean for radioactive iodine (I-131) treatment?

    I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer while pregnant with my daughter who is now 2.5 months old. The treatment I'll need includes a total thyroidectomy (which I've already had done) and a dose of radioactive iodine.

    I know I won't be able to breastfeed my baby anymore after that treatment, but my doctors all have differing opinions about when to wean. My endocrinologist says I can breastfeed until the day of treatment and then pump + dump afterward for a few weeks, but my OBGYN and her lactation consultant told me I should not be lactating at all when I take the radioactive iodine, saying it can greatly increase my risk of breast cancer. Can you tell me who is right? I'd like breastfeed as long as possible of course, but am afraid that pumping and dumping my milk after treatment won't be enough to protect me from breast cancer, and that my endocrinologist doesn't have much experience with breastfeeding mothers and radioactive iodine.

    I'm not sure if this page is the right place to ask, but I haven't been able to find much reliable information and was hoping you could help me out, or at least tell me where I can look to get a definitive answer.

    Thank you so very much!

  • #2
    Mikaela,

    Please call the InfantRisk Center at 806-352-2519 to discuss this issue and please have the dose you will receive of the I-131 as this will make a difference on our advise.

    Thanks,

    Sandra Lovato R.N.

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