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.
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.
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.

Related Questions

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...
Yes. If it comes back as just one lesion then radiosurgery is indicated. If it comes back more extensively then chemotherapy and or hormonal therapy is needed. In this situation radiation can be used to help any symptoms from the cancer that came back. Read more...
If it causes a. Symptom, it can relieve it, but it will not stop the appearance of oter cell clusters at remote locations, and should not be considered a "cureative" treatment, but moe a symptom relieving treatment, palliation. Read more...

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...

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

3-6 months later. Usually a baseline mamogram is obtained a couple of months after finishing radiation treatments. By then, most of the acute side effects of skin irritation, inflamation from radiation treatments has subsided. Read more...
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...
Varies. I generally get my first mammogram 6 months after surgery of the affected side. This mammogram acts as a new baseline. Read more...

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

Rarely. Rarely radiation to the breast can cause inflammation of a portion of the lung. This can cause cough. It is typically treated with steroids. If you experience cough and shortness of breath during or shortly after radiation you should contact your radiation oncologist. Read more...
Yes. As stated by dr. Terstriep, it is rare. Inflammation of the lung because of radiation ( radiation peumonitis), can produce a dry nagging cough typically 6 months out from radiation. It can be treated with steroids. It happens in less than 10% of the patients. Read more...
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...

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...
BreastCA&radiation. Most ladies will have two options for treatment of the primary breast cancer at the time of diagnosis:mastectomy/axillary sampling or breast conserving therapy(bct).Bct is a combo of the removal of the "lump", sample axilla, and radiation to the breast.Both of these options have the same local control rate(meaning the same chance the cancer will come back) and the same cure rate. Read more...
Local Recurrence. Radiation is effective for reducing the risk of local recurrence (breast cancer coming back in the breast.). Read more...

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

Not known. The standard is external radiation in a course of 3 canadian study versus 6 weeks american study versus the newer concept of partial breast irradiation with internal dwelling seeds for 90 seconds / twice a day for 5 days in highly selected candidates. Read more...
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...

Can radiation therapy for breast cancer give me leukemia?

Possibly. Radiation therapy for breast cancer may cause a tiny increase in your chance of getting leukemia 5-10 years later. In studies, it's hard to know whether the radiation caused the leukemia, because aging itself is associated with an increased risk of leukemia. Read more...
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...
Yes. It's low and believed to be about one chance in 400. It's worth the risk because of the likelihood of curing the breast cancer. http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.2013.54.6119?cmpid=jco_pap_22Dec2014& Read more...

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...
None. The effects of radiation alter the skin. The skin can become irritated itself by the radiation. Today there is much less likelihood of "burns". But, still washing yourself with a mild antibacterial soap and gently drying the area is the most you can do; unless the radiation oncologist tells you a different method. The skin is sensitive. Read more...