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Damita Thomas

Nuclear Medicine Specialist

Dr. Damita Thomas is a top Nuclear Medicine Specialist in Winter Garden, . With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to their specialty, Dr. Damita Thomas is an expert in changing the lives of their patients for the better. Through their designated cause and expertise in the field, Dr. Damita Thomas is a prime example of a true leader in healthcare. As a leader and expert in their field, Dr. Damita Thomas is passionate about enhancing patient quality of life. They embody the values of communication, safety, and trust when dealing directly with patients. In Winter Garden, FL, Dr. Damita Thomas is a true asset to their field and dedicated to the profession of medicine.
Damita Thomas
  • Winter Garden, FL
  • Accepting new patients

I was referred to a thyroid scan with nuclear medicine. Any side effects?

There are no side effects from this scan. You will be given a pill containing a very small amount of radioactive iodine. Since iodine is what the thyroid uses to make thyroid hormone, READ MORE
There are no side effects from this scan. You will be given a pill containing a very small amount of radioactive iodine. Since iodine is what the thyroid uses to make thyroid hormone, the radioactive version used for the scan allows imaging of your thyroid. You will have to wait 24 hrs after taking the iodine pill before you’re imaged in order to allow the thyroid to adequately take up the iodine.

I hope this answers your question.

What does a nuclear medicine exam entail?

There are two main types of nuclear imaging studies done to evaluate the heart. One is a study that evaluates the motion of the left ventricle (the chamber that pumps blood to READ MORE
There are two main types of nuclear imaging studies done to evaluate the heart. One is a study that evaluates the motion of the left ventricle (the chamber that pumps blood to the rest of your body), looking at the various areas of the ventricle as your heart beats; it’s called a MUGA. For this test, a small amount of a radioactive substance is objected into your vein and images are acquired to check the motion of the left ventricle as its beating. It takes about 30 minutes.

The other type of study is called a nuclear stress test. This test is typically ordered when there is a concern about impaired blood flow to the cardiac muscle, which could reflect a blockage in one of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the left ventricle. It’s done in two parts: after a small amount of a radioactive substance is injected, the first dose used to evaluate blood flow to the left ventricle while you are resting and relaxed (rest) and another dose used to evaluate blood flow to the left ventricle under conditions that simulate exercise (stress). If you can’t walk on a treadmill that increases in speed until you reach your specific maximum heart rate (based on your age), you will be injected with a medication that causes the coronary arteries to dilate which in turn increases blood flow. For both the rest and stress portions of the study, the heart is imaged; the injected radioactive substance demonstrating blood flow uptake to the various areas to the left ventricle. If there are "defects" (areas with decreased uptake) on the stress study not seen on the rest study, then there is concern for ischemia (diminished blood flow) to that territory. This is consistent with a significant blockage of a particular coronary artery god which you may need a stent. If you’ve had a heart attack in the past, the interpreting physician will see a defect on both the stress and rest images, indicating heart muscle that is no longer alive, but scarred (hence no blood flow).

I hope this answers your question!!

How can nuclear medicine treat cancer?

It depends on the type of NHL your mother has. If she has low grade or follicular lymphoma that has been refractory (or unsuccessfully treated by other agents), she is a candidate READ MORE
It depends on the type of NHL your mother has. If she has low grade or follicular lymphoma that has been refractory (or unsuccessfully treated by other agents), she is a candidate to receive this therapy. It is a radioimmunotherapy: ‘radio’ because it uses a radioactive isotope that, as it decays, emits energy that kills the lymphoma cells; and ‘immuno’ because it is an antibody that attaches to a specific receptor found in abundance.

What is the nuclear medicine treatment for prostrate cancer?

There are several PSMA ligand based radiotherapies that use a substance that is similar to PSMA (prostate specific membrane antigen, a protein found on normal and cancerous prostate READ MORE
There are several PSMA ligand based radiotherapies that use a substance that is similar to PSMA (prostate specific membrane antigen, a protein found on normal and cancerous prostate tissue). This ligand has an isotope that is radioactive that, as it decays, releases energy that destroys prostrate cancer cells. This happens because prostate cancer cell
overexpress PSMA receptors and the radiolabeled PSMA ligand will bind to these receptors on prostrate cancer cells, with the energy released from decay of the attached radioactive isotope resulting in killing of the prostate cancer cell. Unfortunately, none of these agents are FDA approved for use in the US.
Hope this helps!

Can nuclear medicine treat hyperthyroidism?

Yes, depending on the severity of disease. When hyperthyroidism becomes difficult or refractory to oral medication, total thyroid ablation with radiolabeled iodine is performed. READ MORE
Yes, depending on the severity of disease. When hyperthyroidism becomes difficult or refractory to oral medication, total thyroid ablation with radiolabeled iodine is performed. Your thyroid uses iodine to make thyroid hormone. I-131sodium iodine, the therapeutic agent used to treat hyperthyroidism, exploits this function of iodine as it is an isotope of iodine that is radioactive. The radioactivity once in the thyroid slowly destroys the thyroid gland, rendering one thyroid or without thyroid tissue. Since thyroid hormone is needed for various body
homeostasis functions, following destruction (or radioablation), an endocrinologist will prescribe thyroid hormone that the patient has to take for the rest of their life. The first few months, doses may change significantly as the right level of thyroid hormone needed varies with each person.

Hope this helps!

How is nuclear medicine used to treat thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cells use iodine to make thyroid hormone, which is responsible for a myriad of regulatory functions in the body. As such, when a small amount of the radioactive isotope READ MORE
Thyroid cells use iodine to make thyroid hormone, which is responsible for a myriad of regulatory functions in the body. As such, when a small amount of the radioactive isotope of iodine is given orally, I-131, it is taken up by both normal and cancer thyroid cells.

Typically, after a diagnosis of thyroid cancer, surgery is performed to removed the entire gland. Even in the hands of the best surgeon, there is often residual thyroid tissue remaining in the neck as surgeons are especially careful when operating in the neck due to multiple vascular and nerve structures in such a compact space. So, in order to "clean up" any
minute deposits of thyroid tissue, that can either be normal or cancerous, radioactive I-131 is given to kill or "ablate" any thyroid cells. Ablation is also helpful because it makes it easier to check if there is recurrence in the future by checking a protein in your blood called thyroglobulin, that is made by thyroid tissue. Since your gland will be removed and
ablation administered to destroy any remaining normal or cancer thyroid cells, a thyroglobulin level drawn from your blood several months later should be undetectable. If it is detectable, then there is concern that there is recurrent disease. A caveat to this is some people develop antibodies to thyroglobulin which makes a blood levels of the protein
unreliable. As such, follow-up is based solely on imaging (neck ultrasound which is done even if a person doesn’t make antibodies to thyroglobulin, a I-123 iodine scan, which you may get before ablation as well to assess how much residual tissue is in your neck, and sometimes a PET/CT if warranted). The size and type of thyroid cancer you have will determine the dose you receive.

People hear "radioactive" and are immediately afraid something weird will happen to them or they it’s dangerous. This is one of the safest, most effective treatments for thyroid cancer; so much so that it has been essentially unchanged and performed for over 70 years.

I hope this answers your question!

Using radiation with prostate cancer

The 'seeds' are polymers that are implanted into the prostate. They contain
the radiation that irradiated the prostrate tissue over time.