Safety after EBRT or HDR

No. You are not radioactive and pose no risk to those around you. The radiation you were treated with is a special kind of energy delivered to your disease in the form of small particles (electrons) or waves (gamma or x-ray radiation). When delivered, some of this energy passes through, reflects off, or is absorbed by your body. The portion of that energy that does not pass through or bounce off the body is absorbed and transfers its energy to tissues (which is how it kills cancer cells). None of this energy remains as a radiation source inside of the body.

This concept is distinct from the term “radioactive” which describes something that emits radiation as part of its physical nature. If you were treated via high dose-rate brachytherapy (HDR), you were treated with a form of the metal iridium which is radioactive. This source emitted radiation, which interacted with your body as described above, and then was retracted from your body. Since the radioactive source is no longer in your body, you are not radioactive and are no longer receiving the radiation. If you were treated with a linear accelerator, nothing radioactive ever entered your body.

Answered by WGATE

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