What about radiation for breast cancer hitting the thymus gland? Can this not cause immune suppression?

Not usually. The thymus is largest in weight at puberty and then regresses. Immune system than is maintained by other sources in the body. Immune cells are cells in the blood stream and bone marrow in adults.
Inactive in Adults. The thymus is almost always inactive by late teenage years. It does most of it's work in when the immune system develops in childhood and then atrophies and turns mostly to fat. Therefore, the thymus is essentially gone in almost every woman getting radiation therapy for breast cancer and the radiation will not cause any detectable immune system suppression.
Unlikely. Current techniques and equipment are designed to administer precise dose and location , normal thymus will not a target.And will not hit other organs like lung, heart etc.

Related Questions

Could my immune system still be compromised 2 years after chemo and radiation for stage 1 breast cancer? I seem to get sick a lot now.

Possible. Talking about immune suppression is difficult because there are so many different mechanisms that can become impaired. Would go back to your oncologist and discuss your concerns. There are a variety of tests which can be done. Read more...
Not likely. Your immune system should have recovered in this interval. It is appropriate to have an evaluation by your physician to see what may be contributing to your problem of frequent illness. Read more...
See you doc. It is possible. You should discuss your concerns with your treating oncologist. Read more...

Have studies shown conclusively that the radiation from a lifetime of mammograms does not cause breast cancer? Which studies are they?

Probably some risk. The question is whether finding cancers earlier justifies the expense, inconvenience, the trouble and cost of false-positive readings, and perhaps increased cancer risk. There are some good reads bmj. 345:e5660, 2012 suggested for women with brca1/brca2 mutations early mammographs much increase total risk; health physics. 101(5):578-82, 2011 nov. Felt risk is minimal if started in older women. Read more...
No, that type of study would be impossible to perform. Radiation induced cancer risks are extrapolated from various data sources, but not controlled studies. The theoretical slight cancer risk of mammography is dwarfed by the number of cancers mammography detects. You can easily calculate the risks using an interactive tool at xrayrisk.com. Read more...

Is there any proof that radiation from mammograms can cause breast cancer? Is there any legitimate alternative to screen for breast cancer?

NO. There is some other technologies like breast MRI and ultrasound but the gold standard test is mammography. Read more...
Minuscule risk. There was a trial done in high risk women at the national cancer institute. It took young women and randomized them to yearly mammograms starting at age 30 or one at 30, 35, and then yearly at 40. Those that had yearly mammograms starting at 30 had a higher risk. Now this was prior to digital mammograms (which have less radiation). Hence, the risk is very small and benefits outweigh the risks. Read more...
YES and YES. There is no doubt that mammograms can cause breast cancer but we are not sure how often; conservative estimates say about 1 in 1000 will get cancer from mammograms while others say they can increase risk up to 20% & nobel prize winner john gofman believes up to half of cancers are caused by x-rays! thermography is one alternative. See my comment for links & further discussion of a complex issue. Read more...
MammogramsSAVELives. The radiation exposure of a digital mammogram is 3.7mgy. This is associated with a lifetime-attributable risk of breast cancer of 1.3 cases per 100, 000. Mammography is a safe, proven technique for finding cancers well before they are palpable and there is no controversy about its use after age 50. Thermograms are 25% as sensitive as mammograms and not suitable for screening. Read more...
Do self-exam also. There's still disagreement about the value of mamography in the scientific community, but it centers on the cost and problems of false-positives rather than causing cancer. Back when i was in med school, i was the only person who took a few minutes with each women to discuss and teach breast self-exam. I'm skeptical about the more recent studies that question its value since it's often done poorly. Read more...
No. Yes. There is still no definite proof that mammograms cause breast cancer. The concern for increasing cancers is based on projections from data originally obtained from the atomic bomb results in Japan in 1945. But everyone should be cautious and conservative when it comes to possibly causing cancer. The alternatives for mammograms include MRI and Ultrasound. Discuss options with your Doctor. Read more...
There is no. proof that mammograms cause cancer. Risk calculations are based on data extrapolated from radiation induced cancers from much higher doses. See xrayrisk.com for risk calculations. Currently mammography is the standard of care for screening: the consensus is that the benefits far outweigh the minimal theoretical risks. The alternatives, such as ultrasound and MRI, have their own drawbacks. Read more...