Trends in Radiation Practices for Female Ocular Oncologists in North America: A Collaborative Study of the International Society of Ocular Oncology.

Shah SN, Kogachi K, Correa ZM, Schefler AC, Aronow ME, Callejo SA, Cebulla CM, Day-Ghafoori S, Francis JH, Lally S, McCannel TA, Paton KE, Phan IT, Pointdujour-Lim R, Ramasubramanian A, Rath P, Shields CL, Skalet AH, Wells JR, Jennelle RL, Berry JL
Ocul Oncol Pathol 5 54-59 01/01/2019

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to determine the known radiation exposure, attitudes, and consequent risk modifications among female ocular oncologists in North America who routinely administer radioactive plaque brachytherapy treatment and are members of the International Society of Ocular Oncology.

Methods: Nineteen female ocular oncologists completed an anonymous 17-question radiation exposure survey.

Results: Eleven of the participants chose to routinely wear lead protection during surgery; 8 did not. Fifteen of 19 participants reported using an unloaded "nonactive" template to prepare for plaque implantation. During pregnancy, 11 of 13 participants continued to perform plaque brachytherapy. Eight of these 11 undertook measures to decrease radiation exposure self-reported as lead wear and other. The average reported anxiety regarding fertility was 2.1 (SD, 2.2) on a scale from 1 to 10.

Conclusion: This study corroborates prior literature that surgeons' exposure to radiation during plaque brachytherapy is minimal. Nonetheless, there remains some anxiety regarding exposure risk to women, due to potential effects on fertility and fetal health. We found variability in exposure monitoring, required training, and precautions during pregnancy amongst this group of surgeons. Improved education and clearer pregnancy guidelines may equip female ocular oncologists with optimal knowledge regarding risk of radiation exposure.

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