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carotid artery damage from radiation treaments

hiram71
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2012

i had throat cancer in 2008, after 35 radiation treatments and 9 chemo treatments i was declared to be in remission, but i was told the my carotid arteries were 80% blocked. this was from a c-scan. i was sent to the university hospital and had an Ultra sound done and it showed me to be barely 50% and 60%. this year my test said i was between 79 and 99% on the one side, they did an artiorgram and it said i was still at 60% on that side and my other side was only 30%. has anyone else had similar issues and what are you doing about future tests to keep a check on it?

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

You have landed in an awesome place, many good people here...

Out of curiosity..., how do you know it was the radiation that damaged your carotids...

Best,
John

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mar 2010

it is just the onset of old age that's the problem:)

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mar 2010

is one of the complications of radiation for head and neck cancer. My recent CT scans indicate I likely have a high grade stenosis on one side, so I will eventually get around to seeing a vascular surgeon for a workup and recommendations. Generally, no intervention is done until an area is 90% occluded, or greater. How these are followed depends on the personal preferences of whomever you are seeing. Generally, duplex ultrasound is the screening procedure, but as your studies indicated, the definitive test is by artiogram.

Pat

osmotar's picture
osmotar
Posts: 953
Joined: Jul 2011

Not sure about you rad comment, I had 7.5 weeks of rads from Nov 2011 to Dec 2011; just had a CAT scan on Monday one of the comments " some carotid calcification" , old age ..rads don't know but apparently nothing that my onco who I saw today seemed concerned about.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

I finished up 35 rads in 2009, no mention at all concerning carotids...

And it's fine with me if mine stay good to go...

JG

George_Baltimore's picture
George_Baltimore
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

I suspect is the reason for your calcification. Almost every human being starts building up plaque from eating too much of things we shouldn't. I had an ultrasound done several years ago. To the best of my remembrance, I had a 60% blockage on the left and 30% on the right. Last year I had surgery for the replacement of the left side of my mandible due to ORN. When they tried to establish a blood supply for the bone graft, my left carotid snapped in half due to the calcification so I don't have to worry about that one anymore. I do not attribute that to radiation.

I was a mortician for most of my life. During the embalming process, basically you inject a preservative fluid into an artery and drain from the corresponding vein. Most embalmers use the right carotid. Please believe me when I say, I have seen some unbelievably clogged carotids in my time. Most never had radiation. I've had to use infant injection tubes in an adult before because of the calcium buildup. This material is hard as a rock. If I remember correctly, most strokes occur when a piece breaks off and travels to the brain. I believe this is one reason why alot of people are on drugs to lower cholesterol, thus slowing down the calcification.

I think I'm rambling again. Time for me to shut up, sorry.

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