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Radiology/Excessive Radiation

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QUESTION: My sister in law had uterine cancer & was treated with extremely high doses of radiation/chemo.  She is cured from the cancer but now due to the excessive radiation exposure she has developed many additions. She now has a colostomy bag & now she is getting all kinds of ulcers that are getting infected all over her skin.  The reason for all this was confirmed by her doctors that the radiation/chemo is causing these side effects.  Is there anything that can be done to reverse this process?  Are there any hospitals in the States that specialize in treating chronic radiation sickness.  BTW, she lives in Peru.

Thank you, John

ANSWER: Hello, John.

It sounds like your sister-in-law is suffering from late effects of her cancer treatment. I don't think there is anything that can be done to reverse this process.

As for US hospitals that specialize in treating late effects from cancer treatment, the Mayo Clinic is consistently one of the top-rated oncology hospitals in the country.

I recommend that your sister-in-law check with her oncologist to see if there is anything (s)he can do to relieve her symptoms. Also, it would be convenient for her to have a summary of her cancer treatment to take to another doctor for a second opinion.

Here is a website where you can download forms (in English) to help her keep track of the specifics of her cancer treatment: http://www.cancer.net/survivorship/follow-care-after-cancer-treatment/asco-cance.

So sorry your sister-in-law is suffering these side-effects. I hope this information is helpful.

Best,
Delia

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: So have you heard much about damage caused by excess radiation?  I cannot find much literature on the internet, except for exposure from nuclear accidents.  She is being treated for her symptoms.  Right now the oncologist is doing biopsies of her skin lesions to see why they are infected.  Can you recommend any literature on the internet related to excess radiation in a medical setting?  It is well agreed by her oncologist that the previous Dr over radiated her.

Answer
Hello again.

Here are a few articles to get you started:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer-survivor/ar

http://www.livestrong.org/we-can-help/healthy-living-after-treatment/late-effect

http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/radiatio

I found these and many more articles by searching for "radiation late effects".

Hope this helps,
Delia

Radiology

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Delia White

Expertise

I am not qualified to interpret diagnostic imaging or to diagnose disease. Please consult a physician for that information. I am the photographer. I can tell you what to expect during most MRI, CT and X-ray procedures.

Experience

I now have more than 30 years experience in diagnostic imaging. My specialty is MRI. I am also very familiar with CT and the way we used to take x-rays (everything's digital now)!

Education/Credentials
I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Radiologic Technology.

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