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Doctor insights on: Scar Tissue In Lung After Radiation Therapy For Breast Cancer

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

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

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. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,341 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Can radiation therapy treat breast cancer that has come back in the lung?

Can radiation therapy treat breast cancer that has come back in the lung?

Usually not: Breast cancer that has come back in the lung usually requires chemotherapy. It depends on the type of breast cancer, how quickly it is growing, and whether there are multiple spots or just one spot. Breast cancer in the lung means microscopic cancer has spread through the body, so a whole-body treatment like chemo (or hormone-blocking therapy) is necessary for best results. ...Read more

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

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

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. ...Read more

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Can I get radiation therapy for breast cancer if I have a port-a-cath in place?

Can I get radiation therapy for breast cancer if I have a port-a-cath in place?

Yes: The mediport is used for chemotherapy and the patient may also need radiation. It should have been placed on the opposite side to not interfere with radiation. If not it can always be moved or removed. ...Read more

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Are there any traditional indian alternatives to radiation therapy for breast cancer?

Are there any traditional indian alternatives to radiation therapy for breast cancer?

Careful: Most but not all breast cancers need radiation therapy. Please be careful of claims made by alternative treatments for cancer and ask for independent well controlled studies that demonstrate benefit. At this time alternative treatments are of a supportive role to more conventional therapies. I personally know of women whose cancer got worse while they tried alternative methods. ...Read more

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Can radiation therapy for breast cancer give me leukemia?

Can radiation therapy for breast cancer give me leukemia?

Not likely: Leukemia is more likely as a cancer caused by chemotherapy since it exposes more bone marrow. Radiation to the breast will expose very little bone marrow and leukemia is not likely but nothing is impossible. ...Read more

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I am currently doing radiation therapy for breast cancer. What kind of deodorant can I use?

I am currently doing radiation therapy for breast cancer. What kind of deodorant can I use?

Ask your rad doc: Ask your radiation oncologist or the therapist. They get this question a lot. It depends on where the radiation fields are located, your reaction to the radiation, and the doc's personal preferences. You want to avoid irritation. ...Read more

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How soon after finishing radiation therapy for breast cancer should I get a follow-up mammogram?

How soon after finishing radiation therapy for breast cancer should I get a follow-up mammogram?

4 to 6 months: The side effects of the skin need to heal and breast heals and any scarring internally improve. That takes 4 to 6 months. Even then that is the baseline mammogram and surgery and radiation changes will be seen. Then future mammograms will show these changes are improving. ...Read more

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After effects of radiation therapy for breast cancer?

After effects of radiation therapy for breast cancer?

Side effects include: Acute effects include erythema hyperpigmentation of skin, moist desquamation of skin

long term effects of radiation therapy for breast cancer include: radiation fibrosis of lung lymphedema of the affected side upper extremity myocardial injury hypothyroidism brachial plexus injury risk of second neoplasm (radiation induced malignancy). ...Read more

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How effective is radiation therapy for breast cancer?

How effective is radiation therapy for breast cancer?

Very effective.: Radiation therapy (rt) is never a primary treatment for breast cancer, but rather a supplement to surgery for the local treatment of breast cancer. Rt is mandatory following breast conserving surgery: local recurrence rates are decreased from >25% to <5% with rt. Rt is also used after mastectomy for patients that are at high risk for local recurrence. ...Read more

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Could radiation therapy for breast cancer be giving me a cough?

Could radiation therapy for breast cancer be giving me a cough?

Yes: There is a small amount of lung radiated that usually causes no problems. But sometimes this amount is large enough to cause a pneumonitis that can cause a cough. You need an exam and a lung x-ray to determine if this is the cause. ...Read more

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1st stage breast cancer was removed in march, had radiation therapy (30day), now taking tamoxifen, but coughing phlegm now, can it be a transfer to lungs?

1st stage breast cancer was removed in march, had radiation therapy (30day), now taking tamoxifen, but coughing phlegm now, can it be a transfer to lungs?

Not likely: It is more likely to have bronchitis or pneumonia in the lungs especially following treatment (radiation) for early breast cancer if you develop a cough with phlegm. Check with your doctor who might have you get a chest x-ray. ...Read more

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Does radiation therapy cause depression among breast cancer survivors?

Does radiation therapy cause depression among breast cancer survivors?

No: Radiation does not cause this. But the whole process of having cancer and coping with it can lead to depression. Depression should be taken seriously and treated no matter what causes it. ...Read more

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Do I need radiation therapy if I have early stage breast cancer with clear margins?

Do I need radiation therapy if I have early stage breast cancer with clear margins?

Yes!: There is nothing that makes a surgeon more uncomfortable after a lumpectomy than hearing the question: "did you get it all? " cancer is very humbling and it's growth is not completely predictable. While our margins may be "clear", we know many women will return with cancer at this lumpectomy site within 2-3 years unless radiation therapy is given. With rare exception, radiation rx is necessary. ...Read more

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Is radiation therapy necessary when I have early stage of breast cancer with all clear margins?

Is radiation therapy necessary when I have early stage of breast cancer with all clear margins?

Yes!: There is nothing that makes a surgeon more uncomfortable after a lumpectomy than hearing the question: "did you get it all? " cancer is very humbling and it's growth is not completely predictable. While our margins may be "clear", we know many women will return with cancer at this lumpectomy site within 2-3 years unless radiation therapy is given. With rare exception, radiation rx is necessary. ...Read more

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Would you be able to drive yourself home after radiation therapy or chemotherapy for breast cancer?

Would you be able to drive yourself home after radiation therapy or chemotherapy for breast cancer?

ASK YOUR MD: The oncologist (cancer specialist) can answer your question more effectively, however radiation therapy usually allows a self-drive home. Chemotherapy, depending upon the "cocktail" used produces a lot of nausea/vomiting and generally not a good idea to self drive home. ...Read more

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Can elderly breast cancer patients still get radiation therapy?

Can elderly breast cancer patients still get radiation therapy?

Yes: Breast cancer is treated by stage but consideration is made to performance status not just age. So if the disease requires radiation even the elderly can usually tolerate the treatment. Stage 1 patients who have positive receptors may be able to omit the radiation if they are over 70 if they take hormone pills. ...Read more

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How effective has intraoperative radiation therapy been for u.S. Breast-cancer patients so far?

How effective has intraoperative radiation therapy been for u.S. Breast-cancer patients so far?

Early results good: Published results of intraoperative radiation therapy, iort, (targit-a trial) have found no difference as compared to traditional whole-breast radiation therapy in a subset of people at low risk for recurrence. While promising, we await long-term data before expanding this option to more people. To-date, my experience has been very favorable. ...Read more

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If my breast cancer has been completely removed after lumpectomy, do I still need radiation therapy?

If my breast cancer has been completely removed after lumpectomy, do I still need radiation therapy?

Yes: Yes. When performing a lumpectomy, our goal is to remove all of the tumor and a rim of normal breast tissue; the pathologist will describe this as "clear margins". However, if radiation therapy (rt) is not given, cancer may grow back in that area of the breast as often as 25% of the time. Following rt, the local recurrence rate is below 5%. ...Read more

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I'm a 49 year old, chinese, menopausal woman. I got a lumpectomy done for a dcis interme grade. It was noninvasive. I have completed 6 weeks of radiation therapy. I have no previous history of breast cancer. Is tamoxifenrequired?

I'm a 49 year old, chinese, menopausal woman. I got a lumpectomy done for a dcis interme grade. It was noninvasive. I have completed 6 weeks of radiation therapy. I have no previous history of breast cancer. Is tamoxifenrequired?

Not required but: It is an option. It can help reduce the chance of the dcis coming back, as well as the risk of a new, second cancer in the future. But these risks are low and tamoxifen has its own risks and side effects. You should discuss the pros and cons with a medical oncologist. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
1,378 Doctors shared insights

Breast Cancer (Definition)

Occurs when glandular cells lining the milk ducts and lobules of the human breast begin to grow in an unregulated manner. Often curable if found early and treated effectively with surgery, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy, or a combination thereof. Early detection before the malignancy becomes large enough to be felt depends on mammography/sonography and MRI imaging of the breast ...Read more


Lung (Definition)

Deoxygenated blood enters the lungs from the right side of the heart and travels to the lungs. When you inspire, oxygen flows into the lungs, transverses the capilliares and attaches to hemoglobin down a gradient. At the same time, co2 diffuses into the capilaries and is expelled with exhalation. Oxygen rich blood then flows to the left side of the heart and into the ...Read more