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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Will the after effects from the radiation be life long?

Hello I am in need of some information My husband had testicular cancer in the Marines in 1985/86, he had severe after affects from the radiation treatments. I.E black outs, memory loss, phenomia, skin changes. They released him from the Marines with honorable discharge he received a clean bill of health approx. 92 in 2011 he got a cold he could not shake, he thought was phenomia again like when he was sick in 85. They told him he had a blockage in his main artery or the cluster??? then he didn t... then he did well they kept him for 3 days then released him. he continued to see the doctors all year long, continually get worse oncologist says multiple Myeloma, then not then does then not, gave him a calcium push, the a heart reboot and nothing. they said plasma cell dysplasia, amyloid, multiple myeloma possibly poems.so in my research after a doctor mentioned it. They said the after affects from the radiation damaged him so bad, he was bound to get sick years later. Could this be true and if so how can I get this in writing to submit to the VA for his death benefits? Please any help is much appreciated Char 702 419 7471
Wed, 18 Mar 2015
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Radiologist 's  Response
Hi,
Thanks for writing in.

Many people end up with a second cancer with a history of having been treated for an earlier cancer with radiation therapy. However at that time, providing radiation therapy had more benefits and risks and has helped in treating the testicular cancer and your husband has been free from symptoms almost 25 years.

Plasma cell dysplasia can be seen in such patients but saying with confirmation that it is indeed the radiation that is responsible is difficult. Radiation effects are both dose dependent and non dose dependent. If your husband was exposed to radiation in error at his workplace then things would have been different but in the present case he has been given radiation therapy as a treatment and that has been successful to a certain extent. There are also patients who develop a second cancer that is unrelated to the first cancer. To know the chances of the prior radiation treatment causing the plasma cell dysplasia, all his medical records have to be verified and that will only give a risk. It cannot be said with certainty that the radiation given 25 years back is completely responsible for his present health condition.

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