• Should I be aware of long-term radiation side effects even years after treatment?

    Asked by RockTom on Thursday, March 28, 2013

    Should I be aware of long-term radiation side effects even years after treatment?

    What about damage to teeth?

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      In most cases, radiation damage occurs within the field of radiation. So if you had high dose radiation of your teeth, then yes, tooth damage could result.

      over 3 years ago
    • Outlier's Avatar

      In 1987, I had 50 Radiation therapy treatements for Stage 3a Hodgkins (Lymphoma) Disease. I received radiation from my neck to my chest. In 1989, the Hodgkins Disease returned, & thus I received Chemotherapy.

      Over the last several years I've been diagnosed with high blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart valve disease, lung disease, chronic fatigue & chronic kidney disease. Most, if not all were caused directly or indirectly by the Radiation therapy.

      Note: I had Radiation over 25 years ago. I understand Radiation therapy is much more refined & focused these days. I suggest you ask your Oncologist any questions you may have about 'Late Effects' of the radiation treatment you had. Also, articles exist on the internet about 'Late Effects' of radiation treatment.

      Feel free to ask me any questions you might have.

      over 3 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Mr. Outlier and myself are very similar it seems. I had Hodgkin Lymphoma stage 2a in 1988 and agian in 1989 when it came back. I was radiated then just the same, from chest to chin. Had chemo in both of those bouts, radiation on the first one too. I have had dental problems since then, fairly slowly declining dental issues. EAch time I had a problem the docs would say, no relation to the radiation or chemo, always saying no. Then 4 years ago, I was diagnosed with head and neck cancer, radiated again on the neck/jaw area. True, much more refined and targeted. But my teeth absolutely fell apart. I am now in the process of having all of them removed, by oral surgeon, with high risk of OsteoRadionecrosis. So far so good, but yes, there is a problem associated with radiation and dental problems.

      over 3 years ago
    • MarktheMan's Avatar

      I have been worried about this myself, I haven't talked to many people that have had it years ago. Are there any others here that have had radiation more than 5 years ago? I would love to hear some more cases.

      over 3 years ago
    • Outlier's Avatar


      I've found the 'Guidebook' I ordered from the Livestrong foundation, via www.Livestrong.org to contain much helpful information. ie: The chapter called 'After Treatment: Late Effects of Cancer Treatment. What I learned from this chapter will further equip me to continue to advocate for myself. My wife's reading of the chapter helped her to gain a deeper perspective on our living in Survivorship.

      over 3 years ago
    • RockTom's Avatar

      Thank you GregP I may contact you for some more information if you don't mind.

      over 3 years ago
    • sandikf's Avatar

      I don't think they know all the effects. I know any time I have soemthing Come up I am told not radiation. I don't believe them. I had radiation for lung cancer - hadn't had very many sessions when I told them I thought they were ' overcooking me'. They blew me off. I had considerable 'burn' on my chest and my back. Did such a number on my throat I couldn't eat for 6 months. Had 4 endoscopy and think I need a redo right now. I can 'taste' and 'smell' the radiation at times (finished 30 radiation in July 2012 and 10 for the brain in Nov 2012). Doctors think I am nuts. I believe it is still leaving my body. Along with chemo it got rid of the cancer for now so I am grateful for that but geez some of the side effects are reminders thatI'd like to forget.

      over 3 years ago

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