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Radiation pneumonitis

I had radiation for breast cancer 5 years ago, was diagnosed with RP 5 months later. After Prednisone doseage the inflammation went away but it has returned four times since and now has shown up in the opposite lung. Each time requires high doses of prednisone with gradual weaning and also Imuran. Is it common for this to go on so long? Do I have to anticipate that it will never work itself out? My respirologist said it is unusual for it to be recurring more than once.   

Research, Knowledge and Information :

Radiation Pneumonitis - Definition, Symptoms and Treatment

Radiation pneumonitis is a common side effect of radiation for lung cancer. How can you tell if you may have this condition, and how is it treated?
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Radiation pneumonitis | Radiology Reference Article ...

Radiation pneumonitis is the acute manifestation of radiation-induced lung disease (RILD) and is relatively common following radiotherapy for chest wall or ...
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Treatment for Radiation Pneumonitis - Medscape

Radiation pneumonitis is an inflammatory process affecting the lungs following radiation therapy. This condition develops in 5% to 15% of lung cancer patients ...
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Radiation Treatment and the Lungs - OnHealth

Radiation Treatment and the Lungs. One of the side effects of radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) involves the lungs. When high-energy rays are used to ...
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Pneumonitis Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

Pneumonitis is a general term for lung inflammation. It can cause difficulty breathing and is often accompanied by a cough.
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Radiation pneumonitis - Canadian Cancer Society

The lung is very sensitive to the effects of radiation. Radiation pneumonitis is inflammation (not infection) of the lung caused by radiation therapy to the chest.
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Radiation Pneumonitis - PubMed Central (PMC)

May 02, 2011 · A 54-year-old woman with a recent diagnosis of a large, surgically unresectable thymoma presented to the ER with shortness of breath, fever and a dry cough.
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Medical Definition of Radiation pneumonitis - MedicineNet

Radiation pneumonitis: Inflammation of the lungs as a result of radiation. Although the radiation can be from various sources including accidents, today it is usually ...
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Radiation-induced lung injury - Wikipedia

Pulmonary radiation injury is a general term for damage to the lungs which occurs as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation. In general terms, such damage is ...
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Radiation Pneumonitis: A Radiation Oncologist’s Perspective ...

Dr. West previously wrote an introductory post about radiation pneumonitis, but this is a common enough problem that it merits further discussion, including input ...
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Suggested Questions And Answer :

Can radiation pneumonitis recur after 5 years?

Hi. This is rather an unusual and rare situation, but is indeed possible for this to happen.  The diagnosis is further strengthened by the response of the pneumonitis to steroid treatment.  However, the development of the pneumonitis may not be directly caused by the radiation, but may have resulted from an increased tendency of your lung tissues to get inflammed that may be due to previous radiation damage. The pain that you are experiencing may not be directly related to the scarred lung tissue but this may rather be caused by a neuropathic process from the nerves injured during the radiation. Regards.
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Radiation Pneumonitis

I don't see why  a doctor would consider your question at all strange... Embrel (and other medications of that class) "may decrease your ability to fight infection and increase the risk that you will get a serious infection, including severe viral, bacterial, or fungal infections that spread throughout the body. These infections may need to be treated in a hospital and may cause death. Tell your doctor if you often get any type of infection or if you think you may have any type of infection now. This includes minor infections (such as open cuts or sores), infections that come and go (such as cold sores) and chronic infections that do not go away. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) , acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), or any other condition that affects your immune system." You and your doctor may have to do a cost/benefit analysis of using this type of medication for your rheumatoid arthritis, given your history of flare-ups of radiation pneumonitis while taking thwm. Best wishes, bluebutterfly
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Inhaled vs systemic steroids for radiation pneumonitis?

Hi.  There are no clinical trials which test the effectiveness of inhaled steroids for the treatment of radiation pneumonitis.  But there have been some case reports which indicate that inhaled steroids might be effective.  A report in the Southern Medical Journal suggests that 220 micrograms of inhaled fluticasone given at 2-3 puffs twice a day for 18 months controlled the symptoms of radiation pneumonitis and allowed discontinuation of the oral steroids.  Here's the link to the article:
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Radiation pneumonitis after breast iradiation

Hi,   I heard that radiation pneumonitis,usually responds to prednisone, a synthetic corticosteroid drug that is used to treat a number of conditions,including respiratory disorders. Please talk to your consulting specialist who would be able to treat you as soon as possible,before it progresses to radiation fibrosis which is irreversible and does not respond to prednisone. Best wishes.
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lung discomfort

First I would have the tests you evidently had done in the ER reviewed by your Oncologist. He/She would be best to advise you as to the problem and about continuing your booster treatments.    Regards ....
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radiation iduced pneumonitis

As to your question about the safety of the steroid that was prescribed; yes this treatment is perfectly safe. The questions as to why this was prescribed and what has caused the lesion should be put to her Oncologist. Only the Dr.s who have all the pertinent information can answer these questions. The healing process would depend on the type of lesion as well as many other factors that we have no way of knowing.   I suggest that you have a serious discussion with your Aunt's Dr.s if she permits this information to be shared.     Regards .....
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Radiation pneumonitis

Hi Kay, I was just wondering about you a couple days ago. I don't know if many, if any at all are told about Radiation Pneumonitis until the end of treatment as it doesn't occur (as you stated) until months after treatment is completed. I believe it's from 5-15% of women who experience this side effect. Frankly I'm shocked that you didn't research each and every side effect of Radiation before you started .... I would have .... LOL    Take care
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Hi there. The studies regarding the hormone blockers usually involves taking these drugs for at least 5 years continuously.  The relative chance of recurrence after these 5 years, is reduced by about 15-25%.  So, from these figures, if your intake of these hormone blockers is less than 5 years, the reduction of chance of recurrence maybe lower than the above figure (though we cannot really tell for sure).  I suggest you take this to your oncologist and see if there can be alternatives to the drugs because the benefit of hormonal blockers in hormone receptor positive breast cancer cannot be over emphasized.   Regards and God bless.
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side effects

Wow.  I had some thickening of the skin from the radiation, but you have a lump?  Or a spot of really thick skin?  I don't remember them mentioning nerve damage from radiation, either.  Curious.  Have you gone to have any therapy for your arm/shoulder?  Could that help?  As for other permanent changes, I have a lovely strange looking tan on that side, the scars from my drain tubes are keloided from the radiation, and the skin feels just funky.   The taxol numbness may lessen as time goes on.  I took Abraxane (the newer form of Taxol) and have some residual numbness on occassions.  You should be clear of that, though, I would think, it's been long enough.  I'm sorry yours is still very apparent.  Mine lessened to just occassionally annoying. Ain't Tamoxifen a lovely drug?  I'm 3 years 4 months away from freedom on that one.  Oh, did they mention to you that Tamoxifen might play wiggie with your uterus and the endometrium?  I didn't know that one until I went to my OB this Jan.  I'm scheduled for an ultrasound and a biopsy of my uterine lining in July (the 2 year mark) to check and make sure the Tamoxifen isn't doing anything weird to the rest of me.  Tamoxifen can also make you have insomnia (see the other posts on this) and joint pain (although I don't have this one).  There's also the chance of ovarian cancer, too.  So make sure you see your OB regularly. As for hot/cold flashes, they put me on Effexor.  Nice drug, causes weight gain, a ****** to get off of, which I plan to do eventually, but keeps you nice and happy!  :)  I thought at first it was a GREAT drug, but after reading a few things, it's not so nice.  However, it does fix the Tamofixen side effects.  It just has a few side effects of its own to deal with. Sorry you are having such a time.  I wish I could be of more help, but this is what I know based on what's happened to me and reading from others. Perhaps in time your body will eventually get a bit better?  Can I hope that for you?
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