Cobolt Radiation Side Effects 16 years later [00606] Medicine On Line

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Cobolt Radiation Side Effects 16 years later


I need some insight/information so I can understand what is happening to me.  I
will give you a brief history:

DOB: 1\6\1967
In 1980 ( age 13) I was diagnosed with stage 2B Hodgekins Disease.  After
biopsies of my organs, a
spleenectomy, and bone marrow, the doctors concluded that the cancer was
confined to the area above
the diaphragm.  My lymph nodes were clear.  I underwent about a month of Cobolt
radiation therapy
(80 rads a day front and back from my diaphragm to my neck--3000 midline.
After the treatment was complete,
I was exposed to a total of 3040 rads.) I underwent 1 chemotherapy treatment.
The types of medicines included
in the chemo I do not know. We discontinued the chemo because I reacted so
violently to it.  I have had no
recurrence of Hodgekins since treatment ended in 1980.

In 1993 (age 26) I discovered a lump in my left breast.  It was invasive
carcinoma of the breast
(the type that responds well to hormone treatment.) I do not have any family
history of breast cancer.
They could not radiate me further, and because of my age I did not undergo
hormone therapy,  so I
underwent a mastectomy.  The cancer was found at a VERY early stage and
appeared to be confined to
the small lump I found.  They examined 27 lymph nodes under my arm.  All were

In 1994 I had a saline implant inserted and nipple tatooed.

2/1996:   I began to experience excruciating sharp pain in and around the area
of the implant. It became very
frequent, waking me up at night, doubling me over.  At the time I received the
implant I weighed 115 pounds at
5'2".  I now weigh 125 pounds. I thought the pain was due to my weight gain
compressing the implant, but now I
am not so sure.  The sharp pain remained frequent (15-20 times a day) for about
2 months.  Now I still get some
pain but only about 4 times a day and it is not as severe. The skin feels very
tight - I'm almost afraid to take a
deep breath because I'm afraid the skin will tear open.  When the pain first
began,  my skin around the implant
began to change.  It has become very very hot to touch and red.  The area
around the tatooed nipple has
become scaly (like a burn victims)  The scaling has spread to an area about 3
inches by 2 inches and seems
to be deep in the skin.   I also have very very very hard spots on the skin
next to the implant that were at first
bright red.  Some of them have turned brown in the center while remaining red
else where.   The entire chest
skin has become very thick and filled with fluid. Hypersensitivity has set in.
I have also been awakened twice
over the past month with night sweats.

I have also found another lump in the remaining breast.  The mammogram does not
show any signs of
calcification, but the image was unclear due to the thick, fluid filles skin.
It was previously undetected in the
mammogram I had 6 months ago. Follow-up was recommended.

I have a very high level of stress in my life as well.  I am a single mother of
a 5 year old (DOB 9/20/1991)
and I am a computer programmer for a Fortune 500 company.  I do not sleep

My current doctor has put me on antibiotics for a week to try to prepare the
skin for biopsies.  I am not sure if
I am dealing with breast cancer and a third form of cancer now as well?  Could
the implant and tatoo have
irritated the radiated skin to speed up the degradation?  Has anyone seen a
similar case?  How far is my
skin going to degrade?  What are the hard red/brown spots on my skin?  Some of
the spots are about an inch
by 1/2 inch.  Most are smaller. I have about 7 of these spots around my
implant. Does anyone know what those
spots are??? Could they be cancerous?  Any information on the long term effects
of radiation, or any insight into
the strange events of my body, references, etc. would be MOST appreciated.

Thank You