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arismac
@arismac

Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 30, 2018

How much non-ionising radiation is too much?

Posted by @arismac, 2 days ago

G’day all. I am paying the price for undergoing radiation therapy for acne vulgaris in my late teens. It seems that I was probably subjected to about five sessions of up to 100 millisieverts of radiation over a period of three years. The first consequences of this was many basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas commencing about twenty years after the therapy. I also was diagnosed with and treated for laryngeal cancer, prostrate cancer and sigmoid (prostrate) cancer. I do not have any DNA family history of these carcinomas.

I am now eighty years old and as you can imagine have to stay constantly on my guard for further cancer development. Can anyone share similar history with me, please as there seems to be very little data available of similar cases? The years of application, in my case was from 1957 – 1960.

Cheers
Mac

REPLY

Hi @arismac that must be awful to know that the treatment that cured a health condition in your youth as caused so many problems down the line.

I wanted to share the following journal article studying cancer occurring in those treated with radiation therapy:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1833847

@arismac, how are you feeling right now? How long since your last cancer diagnosis?

Thank you so much for bringing the article to my attention, Ethan. Yes is I have also lost my thyroid, but in my case there was a slight variation. I was already taking Thyroxin because of a failing thyroid gland before being treated with radiation therapy for laryngeal cancer. The radiation treatment completely ended thyroid function. The time line was 29 years from initial non-ionsing radiation therapy to the virtual failure of my thyroid.

It is probably appropriate to mention here that I was in the Australian Defense Forces (ADF) when I was first subjected to radiation therapy. The ADF has accepted responsibility for some of the resulting carcinomas, but not all. So there is now an ongoing dispute between myself the ADF's insurers.

Cheers
Mac

@arismac

Thank you so much for bringing the article to my attention, Ethan. Yes is I have also lost my thyroid, but in my case there was a slight variation. I was already taking Thyroxin because of a failing thyroid gland before being treated with radiation therapy for laryngeal cancer. The radiation treatment completely ended thyroid function. The time line was 29 years from initial non-ionsing radiation therapy to the virtual failure of my thyroid.

It is probably appropriate to mention here that I was in the Australian Defense Forces (ADF) when I was first subjected to radiation therapy. The ADF has accepted responsibility for some of the resulting carcinomas, but not all. So there is now an ongoing dispute between myself the ADF's insurers.

Cheers
Mac

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Thank you for sharing @arismac. You may have noticed I moved your discussion to the Cancer group. I did this in hopes others would see this discussion and take part in it.

You mentioned in this post your laryngeal cancer, but can you tell us about your prostate cancer? When was that diagnosed and how was it treated? I'm sure fellow Connect members @hodagwi and @jogger01 would love to hear about your experiences

Thank you Elthan. In my late forties I was quite frequently needing minor surgery for Basal Cell Carcinomas (BCC's). At that time I considered that the skin cancer may be linked to the radiation therapy for acne. I therefore began a regime of regular monitoring for the signs of other carcinomas.

Although I have no family history of prostate cancer, as part of my concern for developing carcinomas, I obtained regular prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests. These tests were taken on a regular six month basis. I also undertook a bi-annual esophageal and colonoscopy examination.

At the age of 63 I went from a negative PSA result to a Gleeson 7/8 in six months and the "aggressive" carcinoma was considered to be "inoperable". I therefore was given a course of radiation therapy under the direction of Radiation Oncologist, Professor David Joseph MBBS, FRACR, MRACMA, who is considered to be a leading authority in his field and for whom I have the utmost respect.

The treatment was effective in destroying the cancer but left me impotent and incontinent.

Cheers
Mac

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