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  1. #1
    elektra's Avatar
    elektra is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default Staying away from radiation patients while pregnant?

    SIL who is about 8 wks pregnant just told me that her OB said she should stay away from her mother while her mother is undergoing her radiation treatments for breast cancer. Is this a real concern? I feel just awful for both of them.
    DD - 7
    DS - 5

  2. #2
    o_mom is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Unless they are doing implanted or injected radiation, I think the OB is being a bit extreme. Most radiation treatment for cancer involves using a radiation beam to target the cancer. It is like an x-ray but more focused and there is no radiation left after the treatment. Some newer treatments involve implanting radiaoactive pellets for a time period and in that case, there may be some issue. Also, there are treatments (not necessarily for BC, I'm thinking thyroid) where radioactive substances are given via IV and can last in the body.

    I personally would ask her mothers' radiation oncologist, the doctor ordering the treatment, if there is any risk of radiation exposure after the fact. These things are tightly controlled and they should know more than the OB.
    Mama to three boys ('03, '05, '07)

  3. #3
    jerigirl is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by o_mom
    Unless they are doing implanted or injected radiation, I think the OB is being a bit extreme. Most radiation treatment for cancer involves using a radiation beam to target the cancer. It is like an x-ray but more focused and there is no radiation left after the treatment. Some newer treatments involve implanting radiaoactive pellets for a time period and in that case, there may be some issue. Also, there are treatments (not necessarily for BC, I'm thinking thyroid) where radioactive substances are given via IV and can last in the body.

    I personally would ask her mothers' radiation oncologist, the doctor ordering the treatment, if there is any risk of radiation exposure after the fact. These things are tightly controlled and they should know more than the OB.
    When FIL had radioactive seeds implanted for his prostate cancer, he was told to avoid pregnant women and small children for a few months. I have limited knowledge of radiation treatments for breast cancer but I don't think it is the same situation. I would definitely talk to the radiation oncologist. They would know best.
    jeri
    DS 6/10/06
    DS2 9/1/10

  4. #4
    kijip is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    I think it is a stretch. I'd agree with talking to the oncologist. My mother has had a host of radiation and chemotherapy treatments over the last 15 years. None of her extremely competent medical team have presented any risks to her being around her family, which includes a growing number of grand kids.
    Katie, mama to a pair of boys one little and one not so little.

    "No American president has ever supported a major expansion of civil rights that has not ultimately been adopted by the American people - and I have no doubt that this will be no exception. The march of freedom that has sustained our country since the Revolution of 1776 continues, and no matter what setbacks may occur in a given state, freedom will triumph over fear and equality will prevail over exclusion." -Michael Bloomberg

  5. #5
    lilycat88 is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    I was around my mom during both her radiation and chemotherapy. DD and I went with my mom to her chemo and radiation treatments while I was on maternity leave. The oncologists and nurses (and patients) loved having a newborn around (we started going when DD was about 4 weeks old).

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    DrSally is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Interesting. My father had cancer while I was pregnant. I will be interesting to see what the oncologist says if she talks to one about this issue.
    Sally

    My Joyful DS
    My Lovely DD

    Please excuse the typos. Getting used to a virtual keyboard

  7. #7
    geochick is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    My sister went through radiation for her brain cancer. Her oncologist at a major cancer hospital told her she could be around anyone immediately after each treatment.

    I think it depends on the type of radiation. You should check with the doctor for that particular case.

  8. #8
    hardysmom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    I am in Radiation for Breast Cancer (Doing great, thank you very much!)

    There is no need for SIL to stay away from her mother. That is ridiculous and makes me quite concerned about her OB, who SHOULD certainly know better. It is pretty 101 stuff and a OB/Gyn usually has seen aplenty of breast cancer (which has a big cross-over w/ ovarian)

    They type of radiation that we get is a low dose rad, much like a very targeted x-ray. We are not radioactive after treatments. Period. I have 3 kids and covered this extensively.

    I think some forms of radiation treatment inject radioactive material. Perhaps in those cases there is more of an issue, I couldn't say. I know that when I have had radioactive dyes for scans, no one has said I shouldn't go near my kids.

    That her OB would say such a thing is so hurtful! Tough to move past a comment like that, even if all medical evidence is to the contrary. Wow.

    Stephanie
    Blythe ad Charlotte 4
    Hardy 6
    Last edited by hardysmom; 09-14-2008 at 11:42 PM.

  9. #9
    elektra's Avatar
    elektra is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Thanks so much for all the replies, especially Stephanie (hardysmom). I definitely had to look into this a bit more, since the thought of MIL having to stay away from everyone when she needs us all the most seemed cruel. If there was a way to avoid that I wanted to do it.
    She is not getting the injected radiation. She's getting the laserbeam kind, where they tatoo her to hit the same spot each time.
    And Stephanie- so glad to hear you are doing well! MIL is hanging in there. She is having some physical issues, nothing super out of the ordinary, but her spirits are great. All the more reason why having to avoid her DD would be so horrible for her.
    Thanks again.
    DD - 7
    DS - 5

  10. #10
    kijip is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by elektra
    She's getting the laserbeam kind, where they tatoo her to hit the same spot each time.
    FWIW, that is exactly the same kind my mother has had and like I said, no need to stay away from any pregnant people. I believe she even had it while I was pregnant with T and then again when he was an infant. 15 years into cancer treatments, it all blurs together time line wise- too many treatments and surgeries to recall.
    Katie, mama to a pair of boys one little and one not so little.

    "No American president has ever supported a major expansion of civil rights that has not ultimately been adopted by the American people - and I have no doubt that this will be no exception. The march of freedom that has sustained our country since the Revolution of 1776 continues, and no matter what setbacks may occur in a given state, freedom will triumph over fear and equality will prevail over exclusion." -Michael Bloomberg

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