My 65 year old sister has just completed chemotherapy following a right breast lumpectomy (Stage IIA, no nodal involvement; high grade-rate of recurrence). She has an appointment on March 30 for a CT scan and preparation (alignment & marking) to begin radiation therapy within the next month or so. My question relates to another health issue she has and that is an abdominal aortic aneurysm. It was diagnosed a couple years ago and has continued to be monitored; so far the growth is minimal. What are the risks of radiation 'flowing over' to that area and aggravating the situation? I've read that cancer treatment can actually cause aneurysms but it hasn't been clearly defined where exactly that might occur. Should she request an abdominal shield, such as would be used if having an x-ray while pregnant? She also has a CSF leak, with undetermined origin; hypertension and hypothyroidism. Thanks for any information or resources you can provide.
What you are asking are complicated medical questions that we cannot answer here, especially if your sister's doctors have not.
There is a professional breasts forum by the Cleveland clinic, and which you should be able to see on the right side of this page.
They will most likely not be very helpful, but it's a better chance than here. I think these questions need to be addressed with your sister's physicians, like her radiation oncologist when she has her preliminary appointments. If she already had those then I am sure it's OK to call and ask about these concerns.
Any problem related to the aneurysm will be evident on scans and the Radiation Oncologist will be quite aware of what's going on there. The proper precautions will be taken and all her previous studies concerning the aneurysm will be available for reviewing. Things like this are always taken into consideration. I'm certain that if you also post on the "Expert Forum" the Dr.s can also offer some insight into this situation ... contrary to what the previous responder said ... the Docs advise to the best of their ability over the internet ..... Kindest regards ....
Thank you for the input. I have pressed her on discussing this with the radiation oncologist when she goes for her prep and I feel confident that she will follow through. It is good to know that they will see the area in question that clearly on the (CT) scan. I will mention that to her also. Sometimes it is so difficult because she is in Oregon and I am still in Southern California. Hopefully, that situation will change soon and I will be in Portland with her. Again, thank you. Every little bit of information truly helps...
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