effects of radiotherapy in 1990

Since my CT scan diagnosed scarring on my right lung as a result of radiotherapy in 1990, I have been frightening myself on the net, looking up what this means and what other damage the radiotherapy might have done.

Looking back, I have have had a painful right shoulder since this date but don’t know what relates to the surgery and what relates to the radiotherapy. Looking on the net, it would seem quite common for patients undergoing radiotherapy during the 1980s and early 1990s to have painful shoulders. I understand that this can be linked to the radiotherapy being less targeted at that stage and damaging the brachial nerve (wherever that is) and causing bone damage. I also know that my posture is bad and probably exacerbates the problem.

I know what is done is done and have no wish at this stage to take this up with Christies but am wondering if anyone else has this problem and if so how they have coped with it. I have aromatherapy massage in my shoulder area once a fortnight which eases the problem temporarily but it always seems to come back.

As regards the scarring on my lung, I have wheezing and have no stamina which I presume is due to the right lung not being able to take in enough oxygen due to the scarring.

Has anyone else had similar problems.

Wendy x

Hello Wendy,

I had mastectomy and radiotherapy in 1989, and about 5 years ago found out accidentally that I have fibrosis of the upper part of my lung as a result of radiation damage. The actual condition has a looong name, which I can’t quite remember, although I can remember looking it up at the time and giving myself a fright as there was a whole website devoted to damage caused by radiation.

However, at the end of the day I calmed myself down by reminding myself that the radiotherapy that I had probably saved my life as they were concerns that the cancer had spread back to my chest wall.

Obviously my medical team is aware of the “fibrosis” and does not seem concerned, so I have chosen to ignore it until it causes me problems…after all I am still here 18+ years later.

However, I do suggest you talk to your medical team about any concerns you have, especially if you are having symptoms from it.

luv Magsie -x-