Long Term Radiation Side Effects 10+ years After?
I am new to this forum and I am looking for others and help in what I am now experiencing. I had left breast Stage 1, ductal in situ, 1cm in size about 18 years ago. I had a lumpectomy, with a "sandwich" treatment. 3 treatments of chemo consisting of Adriamycin, Cytoxin, and 5 fu, followed by 7 weeks radiation, then 3 more treatments of chemo. I was given extra doses of radiation because of a hospital confusion. The surgeon said he took out all lymph nodes (negative) and sent them to the pathologist in 3 cassettes or containers. The pathologist said he received 3 lymph nodes. The radiation oncologist saw the error and it was decided that since I was getting all treatments available, extra radiation doses was the only remedy, to make sure no lymph nodes were left and cancerous. I also had 5 years of tamoxifen. Do you think overkill?
Now 18 years later I am experiencing severe left breast fibrosis with major dimpling at the lumpectomy incision site, hardening and swelling of the breast. I thought my cancer had returned but negative. Also having stabbing left chest pains occurring occasionally. Now 2 years after the onset of the fibrosis I am having shortness and trouble breathing, dizziness, tired with no absolutely no energy. I had all heart tests including cardiac catheterization angioplasty. All negative. Except for a positive chemical induced stress test. Now they will look at the lungs.
With the left breast complications and now the increased size disparity I am looking at a double mastectomy, my choice this time! With cosmetic surgery this time. Even tho I live in major metropolitan area with major hospitals, I was never given real choices in what treatment to have. If the different possible treatments had been discussed I would have had a double mastectomy without any other treatment. I am grateful for my life, but all the side effects from the chemo & radiation have had a significant effect on my health.
Has anyone experienced side effects becoming major health issues years after the treatment? I don't know where to go, since no one seems to know about this.