I'm a 6 year survivor of squamous cell carcinoma of the left neck with unknown primary. Treatment involved boo-coo radiation and chemo as well as a radical neck disection.
Recently I've come up with a new way to get attention. In the last several weeks I'm told I've had a total of 5 strokes. Vetebral arteries in the back of the neck are the culprits and I'm hearing they think the radiation I had is the primary cause in conjunction with slightly elevated blood pressure.
As with my cancer I feel I've been blessed to be in as good a shape as I am considering what you think of when you say 5 strokes, but it is frightening. In truth possibly more so than the cancer. My cancer moved at a steady definable pace, these hit like a Louisville Slugger.
Is any one else aware of this as a by-product of radiation therapy to the head and neck?
If it is indeed a long term effect perhaps it's something to keep an eye on for those with elevated blood pressure, even a little. I'd never heard of it till now.