Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland 1940's & 1950

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Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland 1940's & 1950

by BAguirre on Thu Feb 03, 2011 09:23 PM

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Hello, my name is Brenda and Im researching Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland in 1940's & 1950's. I have some questions for anybody who was radiated during these times for enlarged thymus gland.

What were your symptoms?

Were your parents given a different diagnosis?

How did your parents discover the actual diagnosis?

How many radiation treatments were given? Every how often?

 

RE: Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland 1940's & 1950

by otter.crow on Sat May 07, 2011 08:23 PM

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My mother had me x-rayed at age 6 months because she was told that destroying the thymus gland would prevent crib death syndrome. That was in 1944. Instead it destroyed my thyroid.

RE: Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland 1940's & 1950

by KauaiNancy on Wed Aug 03, 2011 09:24 PM

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On Feb 03, 2011 9:23 PM BAguirre wrote:

Hello, my name is Brenda and Im researching Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland in 1940's & 1950's. I have some questions for anybody who was radiated during these times for enlarged thymus gland.

What were your symptoms?

Were your parents given a different diagnosis?

How did your parents discover the actual diagnosis?

How many radiation treatments were given? Every how often?

 

Hi Brenda,

I had my thymus radiated as an infant in 1944. I have had 2 types of breast cancer, melanoma in-situ, and cancer of the appendix over the last 20 years. I wish I knew more about my infant treatments but my mother simply said that she hoped it wasn't the radiation as a baby that did it. I assured her that it wasn't. All I know is that it was done in Van, BC Canada as a standard course for an enlarged thymus gland. I also have lung disease and wonder if that night have something to do with it too. I am doing very well considering all the cancers I've survived but of course am interested in finding out more about this in case it could help lead other women in the same situation with early detection. I  am 67. Aloha. Nancy

RE: Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland 1940's & 1950

by jkliman on Thu Sep 22, 2011 01:22 PM

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On Feb 03, 2011 9:23 PM BAguirre wrote:

Hello, my name is Brenda and Im researching Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland in 1940's & 1950's. I have some questions for anybody who was radiated during these times for enlarged thymus gland.

What were your symptoms?

Were your parents given a different diagnosis?

How did your parents discover the actual diagnosis?

How many radiation treatments were given? Every how often?

 

I had my thymus radiating at 2 days old in the Rochester General hospital in 1953. THere were no symptoms, the doctor said that it was enlarged and that it could cause crib death.

I was just diagnosed last week with breast cancer. I have particpated in a follow up study from the U of R, and I think there findings at this point is that 50% of women who had their thymus gland radiating will develop breat cancer.

Joyce

RE: Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland 1940's & 1950

by waffen41 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 06:05 AM

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Hi Brenda,

I was given radiation for an enlarged Thymus gland when I was too young to remember the treatment. I believe it was 1944 when I was about three years old.

 I noticed a lump on my throat in 1968 and was later diagnosed with precancerous tumors on my thyroid. A specialist surgeon removed most of my thyroid that year. This same surgeon said it was common for cancer or precancerous tumors to show up 20 years later after radiation treatments.

Later about 1990 I was diagnosed with skin cancer on my chest. Then I continued to get cancer on my face and head. The last Operation was one of several Mohs proceedures I had as recently as August. I have had 8 serious proceedures and about 24 precancerous growths. My dermetologist told me he had numerous patients who were blasted with radiation as treatment for an enlarged thymus as a young child and ended up in his office with skin cancer as a result

I do not know how many time I was radiated. The surgeon who removed most of my thyroid in 1968 told me that he has treated dozens of patients who had the same radiation treatment I did and it was very strong and covered a wide area. Also most of his patients that had this radiation  had actual cancerous tumors and had to get all of their thyroid removed.

My parents have passed away and what I told you is all I know.

I have a question for you or anyone who would know about this. I don't suppose there is any way we could get any compensation for being saturated with powerful radiation as an infant is there? 

 

RE: Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland 1940's & 1950

by JUDIANNE on Fri Jan 13, 2012 03:11 PM

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I to was given 17 radiation treatments on my thymus gland. My mother told me it was choking me to death so it was shrunk or killed as she told me with this radiation. This took place in 1949. I was 3 months old.

Two years ago when having a routine ultrasound scan of my carrotid arteries, the tech taking the scan noticed two tumors on either side of my thyroid. She told me at that time I should see my physician as soon as possible. I went to my Endicrinologist who had another ultrasound done and sure enough, I had a tumor on either side of my thyroid gland and both were bigger than the actual thyroid itself.

I then was scheduled for a needle biosy of the tumors a few weeks later. Thankfully it came back negatiave for cancer.

I had two more ultrasounds 6 months apart and then it went down to once a year. About 2 months ago, I visually noticed a lump appearing at the base of my neck on the right side which I had never seen before. It was also becoming a tad difficult swalling really big pills. I could swallow them but they felt like they would get stuck mid way down my throat, so I would have to drink tons of water to get the pill fully down.

I went to my Doc about 3 weeks ago for my normal quarterly checkup for my diabeties and I told her I thought the tumor on the right side of my thyroid was getting bigger. It had been a year since the last ultrasound was done. Sure enough, I went for an ultra sound two weeks ago. Both of the tumors have increased in size, with the right one growing quite a bit. I have been referred to an ENT to have my the tumors and my thyroid totally removed. My appointment with him is on the 30th of this month.

I need some help in understanding this surgery and some of the consequences of it. I have hopes that the tumors have not turned cancerous in a years time, but I feel even if they have, we will have caught it in time. I have been told so many horror stories about those of us who had these radiation treatments in the 40's and 50's.. and some doctors look at ya like your crazy when you tell them about it.

Besides fatty cysts having to be removed from the back of my neck a few times (it keeps growing back).. this is the first major problem I am experiencing as a result of the radiation treatments. I do remember about 20 years ago getting a letter from Mayo Clinic telling me to go to my doctor with the letter they sent me regarding these treatments. At that time I was put on a synthetic thyroid pill which I took for about 5 years. When I switiched Doctors, he called one of the cancer specialists in our city and he told my Doctor it was not necessary for me to take the tyroid pill and it did nothing to prevent tumors for forming....

I will keep you posted after I see the ENT on the 30th...

RE: Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland 1940's & 1950

by grammacarol on Wed Jan 25, 2012 05:55 AM

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On Feb 03, 2011 9:23 PM BAguirre wrote:

Hello, my name is Brenda and Im researching Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland in 1940's & 1950's. I have some questions for anybody who was radiated during these times for enlarged thymus gland.

What were your symptoms?

Were your parents given a different diagnosis?

How did your parents discover the actual diagnosis?

How many radiation treatments were given? Every how often?

 

I was irradiated in 1940s in Waco Texas as an infant. My mother fortunately kept a document certifying this procedure was done on me. She was distressed that the doctor's wanted to do the procedure, but they claimed it was necessary. She did not not understand the why. The document just tells the doctor's name, date, etc. Not the reaso.

I am a breast cancer survivor. I also have miniature cysts around my thyroid. I also have hair loss.

I hope this helps someone else. I also hope some medical person is collecting info for science.

RE: Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland 1940's & 1950

by lindaph on Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:33 AM

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In 1948 at the age of 9 months, apparently I had some breathing problems. A doctor in San Francisco diagnosed me with an elarged thymus and immediately admitted me into the hospital. The way the story goes, I had "x-ray treatments" and got better. It was talked about in the family like it was a miracle. Then in the 1970s when the link between thyroid cancer and these treatments became known, I tried to learn my history. The doctor's office located my records in storage which only revealed I had been admitted to the hospital. The hospital told me records are only kept 20 years, so I was out of luck. I have had to take thyroid meds for low thyroid since approx 1979. In 1982 I had a benign tumor removed from my parotid (salivary) gland and have always wondered if there was a connection. Other than that, I'm turning 65 and am quite healthy.

RE: Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland 1940's & 1950

by jkliman on Sun Feb 12, 2012 08:29 PM

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I was radiated in 1953 at 2 days old and then again 2 weeks later. THe doctor thought my thymus was enlarged and that enlarged thymus caused crib deaths. THis particular OB radiated many babies born in the early 50"s. I was able to get the exact doses from the University of Rochester who have conducted a 50 year follow up study of I think 2600 people. My brother and I participated, he did not have his thymus irradated.

I was diagnosed about 4 months ago with breast cancer. According th the study at the U of R people who have had their thymus irradiated have a 1 in 3 chance of developing both breast and thyroid cancer.

If you want further info about the U of R study let me know. I also would b e curious what information you find. I do think there needs to be a database of information. I have researched the subject quite abot and have a number of research studies.

RE: Infant Radiation for Enlarged Thymus Gland 1940's & 1950

by janebelling on Wed Mar 14, 2012 06:55 PM

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In 1949 when I was 2 months old I received ratiation treatment for an enlarged thymus gland.  I could not keep food down and they where worried about my losing weight.  My mother was an RN and she said it was standard procedure to treat the enlarged thymus gland with ratiation therapy at that time.  I was to get three doses and I actually only need two as after the second treatment i was able to keep food down thus not needing the third treatment.  I do not know how far apart the doses where.   

When I was in my twenties the hospital that did the radiation treatments send a "recall" notice telling me that in some cases thyroid cancer occured approx 20 to 30 years after the treatments and I should get a regular thyroid scan.  Which I did for the next ten years when I was told I no longer need the scan.  

When I was in my fifties I had a very over active thyroid according to the tech who did my thyroid up take test I had the highest number they ever saw for an overactive thyroid.  They used radiation to kill off the thyroid and now I take synthetic thyroid meds.  Do not know if the overactive thyroid is due to the childhood ratiation or if it due to the fact that thyroid issues gallop thru the females in my family especially those of us who have had children after age 35.

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