Possible lung damage 10yrs+ after treatment - just me?


I had grade 3 her2 +ve, oestrogen & progesterone +ve breast cancer 11years ago. I was treated with a radical mastectomy and lymph node clearance, Epi-CMF chemotherapy & one year Herceptin. No radiotherapy.

After various other issues my health has been relatively good now for several years; I manage my lymphoedema, take my Exstamestane and generally get on with life. In abour Feb or so this year I ocassionally noticed a slight intermittent wheeze in certain positions - mainly lying down. Ultimatley I became breathless and was diagnosed with a chest infection…3 anti-biotics later no change. I am now taking steroid and reliever inhalers and remain breathless with tightness in my chest. I have an irritating non productive cough. My symptoms change accross the day i.e. I am worse in the mornings and in the evenings.

GP has now referred me for detailed breathing tests (not sure what that involves but it is not just spirometry) and I await an appointment.

My Gp is really helpful and has explained that the likely options are; adult onset asthma (not really bimproving with asthma treatment though); COPD (although I am not a smoker it is still apparently possible); damage to my lings as aresult of my previous cancer treatments (11yrs ago!) or finally (and she insists least likely) secondary BC. Seems bizarre to be wishing that I have asthma!!!

So has anyone else had any similar experiences? If so can you share your experiences of testing, outcomes and treatments?

Hi Podry, 

I am sorry you are going through this anxious time and I am sure some of our users will be along soon to offer support.

In the meantime you can always call our helpline at 0808 800 6000. They will be able to talk to you about the symptoms you are experiencing and offer a friendly ear. The opening hours are below.

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Late opening Wednesday 9am-7pm,
Saturday, 9am-1pm

Best wishes, 


Hi there,
Cant offer personal testament, but your GP is spot on… GPs are now being encouraged to recognise possible late onset side effects from cancer treatments, lung issues, heart issues. It is possible you were advised.re these in initial treatment phases, i know i was when refered for rads, good luck. Fingers crossed firthe best outcome for you
LL xx

Hi podry, I am interested reading your post as I am having something similar. I’ve had a non productive tickly cough and wheeze on inhaling deeply for about a month. My recent scan results were good on the BC mets side of things but the scarring of my left lung was slightly fuzzy. This alongside the wheezing and cough has urged my OC to put treatment on hold and do a load of lung tests to see if it could be damage/find out what’s going on. I’m curious if your issues were resolved? I’ve read not great things regarding irriversable lung damage etc. And I’m scared they won’t treat me anymore! Any advice greatly recieved. Xxx

Hi Podry


I can’t help with answers but thought I’d at least show you that you aren’t alone


I was dx 13 years ago and had chemo and rads I like you also have Lymphoedema


I had a bad spell in 2013 with repeated chest infections/pneumonia during the period July to October and had a chest clinic appointment inJan 2014 where I was told it was just down to bad luck


Fast forward to June last year and off we go again I am just getting over what was my 9th infection since then one of which took 3 types of ABs to clear

I had a ct scan in the June but my follow up regarding a nodule in the right lung(cancer side)wasn’t done in the July but was picked up in October when I had an overnight stay at the hospital

A further ct showed nodule ok but said I had inflammation of the airways


I have been on Ventolin inhaler and several courses of steroids due to the cough which i have had since August 2016 At one point in December I could barely speak because it


My Gp did a referral to the chest clinic in February but I’ve yet to receive an apointment 

My chest feels tight and I’m completely run down as I don’t get a chance to recover and have now had oral thrush twice too


So you have my sympathy and I hope your hospital is quicker with a referral than mine is