Restricted movement in my arm from rads
This is my first time posting. I had treatment for inflammatory breast cancer 20 years ago that included chemo, a mastectomy, stem cell transplant and radiation. I haven't seen a radiation oncologist in maybe 18 years. During that time I have had tightness in the muscles of my chest where I got the radiation, the muscle in front of my armpit was hard as a rock, I could not move my arm farther than about my chest and I had numbness and tingling in my hand when I tried to rotate my wrist. I say “had" because I had an ablative CO2 laser treatment (the very same thing they do for cosmetic laser treatment to improve wrinkles and signs of aging) on the area that was radiated last week and it worked like a charm. I now have nearly complete range of motion in my arm and hand.
I am posting my experience here because I am hoping it can help someone else. After a lot of googling, it doesn't look to me like this treatment is readily available. I do not know why, but it seems doctors are more concerned with curing cancer than they are finding solutions for dealing with the after effects of poisoning and burning the cancer. Dermatologists are usually the ones most skilled at using lasers, so perhaps they make more money doing cosmetic procedures they're less interested in treating rehab issues. The research is out there documenting that the CO2 laser has been used successfully to help “radiation fibrosis" and other kinds of burns and injuries to muscles. Dr Peter Shoemaker the head of dermatology at the military hospital in San Diegohas published several studies on his use of the laser for burns and other injuries.
If anyone wants any additional info, I'll be glad to tell more, but not sure there is any interest or if others have experienced the arm problem I did.