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enlarged thymus study of the 50s
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enlarged thymus study of the 50s

In the 50s, in the Ohio River Valley, a study was done on all infants.  If their thymus was enlarged, the thymus was radiated to shrink it.  Now, 60 some years later, it is known that infant thymus glands are normally larger than later in life and radiation is not done.
Question is this:  What repercussions have been identified for those of us that had our thymus glands radiated (I was 24 hours old when it happened to me) ?

I have now been diagnosed with extreme low levels of vitamin D-- in my research for that, I find a problem that could be hypoparathyroidism.  Can any of that be part or a result from those radiated thymus studies?

Is there a group of us who can discuss our physical conditions to see if there is a link ?
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Have you had your thyroid checked at all?
TSH, FT3 & FT4 levels?
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No, I haven't yet had it checked.
I see the Dr on the 20th to discuss the results of this latest test.  That's when I'm going to request an endocrinologist -- I would assume those tests will be taken by him/her.

Anything special I should request along with those?
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Many many people have low Vit D. It is not always related to thyroid conditions, but many who have thyroid conditions have low Vit D too. It is often found in those with autoimmune disease too. They are still out in the verdict as to why.
Your parathyroid glands would have also been under attack from the radiation and this could well be why you are low on Vit D.

Many people who had radiation treatment for other things as children have a higher risk of developing a cancer in the thyroid. Many had thyroids that were destroyed, or partially destroyed and ended up with severe hyper or hypothyroidism. (depending on the dosages etc)

It might be worth while having an ultrasound to see if the thyroid is the correct size, too. Often they are quite shrunken from the radiation.

I'd suggest talking to the hospital where you were born and see if you can get a hold of any medical records from that time too. They should have the name of who did the study. They may know how to get in touch with any one else.

Cheers!
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Thanks!
I have my records from the hospital that did the radiation.  Asked for them when I had breast cancer the 2nd time (survivor for 11 years now!).
They did 2 "treatments" -- one w/in 24 hours of birth and the other one on day 2.

I will be checking with my doctor and ask for that scan -- appreciate your taking the time to inform me --
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I was born in 1947 in Illinois with an 'enlarged thymus,' and also received radiation, according to my parents. The doctor found the condition because I was unable to keep fluids down.

The hospital that I was born in (St. Mary's Hospital) is no longer in existence, so I am unable to find any records.

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with 'nodules on my thyroid.' On the first biopsy, these nodules were found benign. Over the years, I have had an Encocrynologist monitor the nodules (also sometimes called 'goiter') with ultra-sound exams. Blood tests on my thyroid come back as normal, but I have had an ongoing problem of gaining excess weight, which I am unable to lose - no matter what diet I use.

Just wanted to add this note to your continuing dilemma, in hopes that maybe someone will be able to find some answers.
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I am 56 years old and also had this procedure done when I was
13 months old. At 40 I had a large nodule on my thyroid, I started
taking synthroid which shrunk it (also had a needle biopsy done-
fluid taken from the tumour to ensure it wasn't canerous), so far
it hasn't come back. At age 47 or so I still had some of the under
active thyroid symptons, itchy skin, fatigue, cold feet/hands, I then
went to an Endicronoligst, he put me on cytomel along with the
synthroid, what a difference.
I actually have a newspaper article about the procedure it was stopped
here in Canada around 1954/1955. Apparently the tumours can show up
in other parts of the body.  I go for blood work every 3 months.
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I too had the radiation treatment on my thymus gland as a baby.  So far everything is ok.  I am 59 years old.  I would love to see the newspaper article if you have it.  
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I had the same treatment done in New Brunswick in 1955, and I'm interested in providing information to my doctor. Do you have the name of the newspaper article you mentioned?
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I just read your posting and although it is two years ago, wanted to let you know that I was treated at the same hospital.  I was born in 1948 in Chicago and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995 when I was 47. I did complete the genetic testing and mine is not genetic.   I believe my cancer is caused from the radiation to my thymus as a baby.  I also have hypothryoidism which, however, does run in my family.  It's too bad they experimented on us without research to back it up.  
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