Jump to content

shortness of breath


Recommended Posts


I was talking to Mom tonight, and she says she's been having more shortness of breath than usual recently (it seems a bit worse since finishing her radiation) She can still get around, but gets a bit more winded. No fever, chills, chest pain - she just had her yearly physical 2 days ago and got a clean bill of health.

I'm wondering if this could be a side effect of the radiation - anyone have any insight??

We're off tomorrow for her first post-treatment CT and we will meet with the doc later that morning, so we'll certainly ask her, but any information y'all could share will be greatly appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Radiation Oncologist says that my shortness of breath and overall tiredness is from the radiation. Even once you are finished with the treatments they continue to work for a few weeks afterwards according to my notes. Other than that they can look into Radiation pnuemonitis or COPD.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Radiation pneumonitis is likely although it could be fluid. It is inflammation that may or may not go way eventually or could change to radiation fribrosis, a permanent scarring. Doctors sometimes prescribe steroids to halt the process of inflammation and so minimize permanent damage. It has its own risks though.

Don M

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are many potential causes of increased shortness of breath in patients who have undergone radiation for lung cancer, including pneumonia, a pleural effusion (fluid around the outside of the lung that limits the ability of the lung to expand), progressing cancer, a blood clot in the lungs, etc., but inflammation after radiation that leads to increased shortness of breath is quite common. I wrote a post on radiation penumonitis (inflammation) on my website if you're interested in reading more. It's here:


Take care.

-Dr. West

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.