Radiation article hits a nerve, wins award

In the Winter issue, Kathy LaTour told the story of Sam LaMonte and Eileen Gould, patients who survived their cancer in part due to the radiation they received ("Cost of Living"). And while it potentially helped save their lives, it also carried some long-term side effects that they are both still struggling with.Since that article published, CURE and Kathy (and even Dr. LaMonte and Dr. Stubblefield) have received letters, emails and phone calls from readers who wanted to share their stories and get more information. Many patients said the article helped them to understand why they were experiencing certain side effects, effects that for many survivors, were not fully explained during treatment. Here are a few of the responses we've received:I read with interest your article, "The Cost of Living," in your winter issue. I can attest to the complications of radiation. [...]Thank you so much for bringing the reality of long-term radiation effects to light. Thank you also for a wonderful supportive and enlightening magazine. --AmyThank you so much for the article about the late effects of radiation therapy for cancer. I received 35 treatments of high-dose radiation 20 years ago for breast cancer and have not had a good quality of life since. I have suffered for years with the "constellation of disorders" mentioned, to the point that I can no longer drive a car and must use a wheelchair most of the time. During these years, the medical profession did not acknowledge or validate that the source of my conditions was from the radiation. Thank you for bringing this to the attention of everyone today. It truly is "about time" that those of us who have had poor quality of life since high-dose radiation are now validated. --ElaineIn addition to the accolades the piece has garnered from readers and medical professionals, it was also recently named a top winner in this year's Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. Kathy accepted her award during the Association of Health Care Journalists' annual meeting this past weekend. I hope you will help me in congratulating her on bringing such an important topic to the forefront for patients and survivors, and also to the attention of mainstream media.To continue the discussion, we have invited Sam LaMonte to join us in an online discussion on the long-term side effects of radiation via either Facebook chat or Twitter. I do hope you'll join us in exploring this topic further. Stay tuned for details!