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A 45-year-old member asked:

I got a scar tissue in lung after radiation therapy for breast cancer. no one told me it could happen. what should i do?

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Beckman
Plastic Surgery 51 years experience
Radiation burns: Radiation therapy causes a type of burn resulting in injury. Hopefully cancer cells are killed, but normal tissue heals with some effects of tissue scarring.
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Very rare, but...: ...Well-recognized complication of breast radiation therapy (of course, when you are that "one in a million", that doesn't help). Modern techniques are designed to maximize rx to the breast & minimize effects on the heart and lungs. Your radiation oncologist certainly should have discussed this with you pre-treatment--informed consent is a necessary part of any rx regimen.
Dr. Cliff Robinson
Radiation Oncology 17 years experience
Common: To get some scar tissue in the upper part of the lung just below the ribs. This is often best appreciated on a ct scan. Most patients have no change in their breathing function, and the risk of developing a temporary inflammation (pneumonitis) is very low, but treatable with steroids. This risk is probably lower with modern radiation techniques such as imrt.

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Similar questions

A 41-year-old member asked:

Could radiation treatments for breast cancer cause scar tissue in the lungs?

1 doctor answer10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Leonard Metildi
General Surgery 45 years experience
Yes: This was a more common occurrence before modern tangential fields that avoid the lung. However, if the lung receives significant radiation, then pulmonary fibrosis can develop.

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Last updated Jan 23, 2021

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