9 doctors weighed in:

Will radiation therapy for lung cancer make my father's COPD worse?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bahman Daneshfar
Radiation Oncology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Possibly.

Radiation can injure the lung tissue.
Therefore since COPD is already an injury they can be additive. The radiation doctor needs to know values for fvc and fev1 (tell you how good the lung is) and consider these in his planning for the radiation. The majority of lung cancer is in smokers and most have copd. So its just how bad it is and how much lung is going to be radiated.

In brief: Possibly.

Radiation can injure the lung tissue.
Therefore since COPD is already an injury they can be additive. The radiation doctor needs to know values for fvc and fev1 (tell you how good the lung is) and consider these in his planning for the radiation. The majority of lung cancer is in smokers and most have copd. So its just how bad it is and how much lung is going to be radiated.
Dr. Bahman Daneshfar
Dr. Bahman Daneshfar
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Dr. Sameer Gupta
Internal Medicine - Oncology

In brief: Can happen

Talk to treating doctors about using Prednisone or other strategies to minimize this.
.

In brief: Can happen

Talk to treating doctors about using Prednisone or other strategies to minimize this.
.
Dr. Sameer Gupta
Dr. Sameer Gupta
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Dr. Klaus d Lessnau
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care

In brief: Unusual

That would be quite unusual but he made need prednisone.
Check with lung specialist and get cxr.

In brief: Unusual

That would be quite unusual but he made need prednisone.
Check with lung specialist and get cxr.
Dr. Klaus d Lessnau
Dr. Klaus d Lessnau
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Dr. R. Scott Anderson
Radiation Oncology

In brief: Radiation and COPD

It may, we will usually see a loss of about 20% of the irradiated volume in terms of lung function.

In brief: Radiation and COPD

It may, we will usually see a loss of about 20% of the irradiated volume in terms of lung function.
Dr. R. Scott Anderson
Dr. R. Scott Anderson
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Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology

In brief: Lung & COPD

No. There are strict guidelines concerning surgery and pul func tests, but not so for radiotherapy.
Usually breathing actually improves, but a lot depends on location. I would have radiotherapy for lung cancer if i had COPD without question.

In brief: Lung & COPD

No. There are strict guidelines concerning surgery and pul func tests, but not so for radiotherapy.
Usually breathing actually improves, but a lot depends on location. I would have radiotherapy for lung cancer if i had COPD without question.
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
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Dr. Srinivas Boppana
Radiation Oncology

In brief: No

Radiation therapy can cause lung changes including fibrosis and pneumonitis.
The biggest factors are his current lung cancer stage, amount of lung that the radiation will affect, and other medical conditions.

In brief: No

Radiation therapy can cause lung changes including fibrosis and pneumonitis.
The biggest factors are his current lung cancer stage, amount of lung that the radiation will affect, and other medical conditions.
Dr. Srinivas Boppana
Dr. Srinivas Boppana
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Dr. Reza Shirazi
Radiation Oncology

In brief: Yes

Radiation will cause some local scarring/collateral damage to the healthy lung adjacent to the lung cancer is trying to treat.
This unfortunately translates into some decline in baseline lung function. People with COPD (like your father) already have some compromised baseline lung function. Techniques like cyberknife stereotactic body radiotherapy may allow to minimize collateral lung damage.

In brief: Yes

Radiation will cause some local scarring/collateral damage to the healthy lung adjacent to the lung cancer is trying to treat.
This unfortunately translates into some decline in baseline lung function. People with COPD (like your father) already have some compromised baseline lung function. Techniques like cyberknife stereotactic body radiotherapy may allow to minimize collateral lung damage.
Dr. Reza Shirazi
Dr. Reza Shirazi
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