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Old 06-07-2008, 05:58 AM   #1
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Radiation treatments back in the 50's and 60's

I remember when I was a kid that I had a radiation treatment on my thyroid. I don't know why and both my parents are gone so I cannot ask. Does anyone know why this would have been done? I'm now hypo T and wondering if there is any correlation between the radiation treatment and my hypo T.

 
Old 06-07-2008, 08:25 AM   #2
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Re: Radiation treatments back in the 50's and 60's

Radium "treatments" for various things were commonly done in those days. Not to the thyroid so much, but to the thymus gland, adenoids and tonsils, for acne, other areas of the head and neck. You would think they'd have known the damage that it could do by that time, especially after the advent of the atomic bomb. Whatever.

Radiation is a definite cause of thyroid dysfunction. It also increases the incididence of thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer. Don't allow any MD of yours to ignore it.

 
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: Radiation treatments back in the 50's and 60's

I don't know why they would have done this but I do know that radiation will cause thyroid probems.

My thyroid was destroyed as a side effect of the radiation therapy that I had for treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma many years ago.




The radiaition I had destroyed my thyroid (and that was evident in a few months).

That same radiation therapy resulted in breast cancer 22 years later. Some effects of radiation are immediate and some take decades to show.

Also, radiation therapy for breast cancer can cause thyroid problems.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:07 AM   #4
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Re: Radiation treatments back in the 50's and 60's

I had three radiation treatments to my chin in the late 50s. I try to make sure my doctors have that information. Some are interested, some ignore it.

 
Old 06-10-2008, 10:56 AM   #5
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Re: Radiation treatments back in the 50's and 60's

My husband had radiation treatment to his tonsils in the 1950's and wound up with thyroid cancer. Discovered a large nodule in the late 90's. They monitored it,it shrunk and then grew again. Just had it removed in 2006 and was cancer. I'm rather shocked there isn't a class action suit.

 
Old 06-10-2008, 12:35 PM   #6
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Re: Radiation treatments back in the 50's and 60's

The radiation therapy I had saved my life.
A few years prior to my diagnosis with Hodgkins Lymphoma (in 1981) most people died from it.

That being said....I have read online articles dating back to 1990 about the U.K. conctacting patients like me who had mantle radiation for Hodgkins Lymphoma in the late 1970's - late 1980's....& warning them of whats called "late effects of radiation therapy", specifically breast cancer in my case. They treat Hodgkins Lymphoma with chemotherapy now (for this very reason).

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer 22 years after the radiation for the earlier cancer, my oncologist didn't tell me that it was due to the previous radiation therapy. (This was the same oncologist I had 22 years earlier).

I didn't find out until I went to the huge cancer center in Houston Tx, (M.D.Anderson).

My oncologist should have warned me that I was as high risk for breast cancer (I was still seeing him for follow up care).

OR, the hospital where I had the radiation therapy in 1981 should have warned me. (My mother still lives at the same address that they have listed for me).

Neither bothered to warn me. (Or anyone else, I'm sure).

I may not have ever found out the cause of my breast cancer if I hadn't gone halfway across the country for treatment (in Houston).

I switched oncologist.
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Old 07-05-2008, 05:59 PM   #7
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Re: Radiation treatments back in the 50's and 60's

I had xray treatments to my head in 1947 because of ringworm, that eventually became infected and begin to distroy bone. I was not expected to live very long, so became a "ginnypig" for a new antibiotic being developed at the time, erythromycin. It saved my life. Between the 1920's -1950's not much was known about possible long term effects of this treatment. At the time I recieved the xrays there were not a lot of choices and xrays were all the rage with the medical profession. It wasn't until the 1960's that it became obvious that a big mistake had been made. Now, I have read that 1/3rd of the children who recieved xray treatments like me have developed thyroid cancer. I have been one of the lucky ones and am just now, at 65, developing thryroid problems. I have a diffused nontoxic goiter discovered on a thyroid scan this month. It's being treated with Levothyroxine and to be re-evaluated in 3 months. Current labs: TSH=1.8, FT4=0.4, Total T4=8.5, Total T3=1.24. However, I was very surpised to find out that 1 1/2 yrs ago on a routine blood test my TSH=4.7, though my old dr never said anything about it--I guess that would be considered Hypothyroid by the new standards. So, I have a question: Why would the TSH go back down to normal, yet develop into a goiter?

 
Old 07-05-2008, 06:35 PM   #8
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Re: Radiation treatments back in the 50's and 60's

What is the reference range for the FREE T4?

It looks low (but different labs use different numbers, so we need to know what your labs reference ranges are). Knowing the reference range, will tell us where you are in the 'normal range'.

The total T4 and total T3 don't mean much.

Your TSH is a little high.

How do you feel?
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