I have shared the article below today, which is taken from the website http://www.doctorslounge.com

“Younger survivors of thyroid cancer are at increased risk for certain types of health problems later in life, according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer Survivorship Symposium.

Brenna Blackburn, M.P.H., a graduate research assistant at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues tracked data from 3,706 thyroid cancer survivors in Utah diagnosed between 1997 and 2012. The researchers compared those patients’ long-term health to that of 15,587 people who did not have thyroid cancer.

The researchers found that thyroid cancer survivors diagnosed before the age of 40 were five times more likely to develop peri-, endo-, or myocarditis, and more than twice as likely to develop heart valve disorders, compared to people in the other group. Patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer when young were also more than seven times more likely to develop osteoporosis, and more likely to have hypertension and cardiac dysrhythmias. Patients diagnosed when over 40 were 46 percent more likely to develop hypertension and more than twice as likely to develop osteoporosis than people who’d never had thyroid cancer.

As the number of thyroid cancer survivors grows, more people are living with other serious health conditions resulting from treatment,” Blackburn said in an American Society of Clinical Oncology news release. “It’s important to understand these long-term risks so that we can not only help manage their health, but also inform how oncologists care for these patients from the onset of diagnosis.”

I can attest to the part relating to osteoporosis.  At the moment I have osteopenia, a forerunner of osteoporosis, due to originally having to be over-medicated on thyroxine for 5+ years following my thyroidectomy (as per clinical guidelines at the time).  I have a bone scan every 2 years, and have had a bisphosphonate infusion to try and counteract the decline in bone density.  Everything is holding steady at the moment and my thyroxine dose has been reduced to what it was originally, but I have intermittent pain in my lower back and a kind of grating sometimes.

I was given calcium supplements a few years back, but last year was advised not to take them anymore, as they can cause heart problems!  You can’t win, can you?

Do you know anybody who is suffering side-effects due to treatment for thyroid cancer? If so, what kind of side-effects are they?



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