Radiation pneumonitis

do not post very often here but could really use some advice. I was diagnosed with secondary rib met in January 2012 having been previously diagnosed with non invasive ducal carcinoma ER+ PR+ Her2 - in October 2009, had FEC, Rads and Tamoxifen. in January at bone met diagnosis commenced Ibandronic Acid, Adcal D3’ Omeprazole, Letrozole and Zoladex 3 monthly injections and Citalopram as I wasn’t coping with new Dx. Had high dose rads x12 to rib. Managed to get through radiotherapy with very little problems. developed a cough about 2 weeks after rads finished but this went after a week and have just been 'getting on with living with ‘cancer’. Until my post rad bone scan which showed ‘uptake in left hip’ . CT scan done 2 weeks ago w fortunately showed no evidence of spread however it showed I have pneumonitis in the left lower lobe of my Lung (which is not the side of my original Dx but is the side for my rib met). I have been on Dexamethasone and Amoxicillin all this week and have been gradually getting worse and worse. I have chest pain radiating up into my throat (been checked today at hospitand for signs of heartattack etc but all okay) I’m getting short of breath on very little exertion and feel pretty tired doing the least thing. I’ve spoken to my cancer team today and they are going to get the Consultant to advise what to do next but what I wanted to ask is if there is anyone out there who has had pneumonitis and what their outcome was. Knew there was a possible risk when having rads treatment but until my Onc appt last Friday when they told me the CT result I seemed pretty okay it’s gotten worse since I have been on the drugs this past week!!! And info or advice would be greatly appreciated.
leigh x

Haya, sorry I have only just found your thread. I hope by now things are on the up and you are feeling better. I had very bad lung scarring after 30 rads, which did cause phneumonia for a few weeks. But - I have CT scans every 3 months and each one shows that teh lung tissue is improvong and getting better. It’s nearly a year since my rads, I hope your body also recovers as well. take care, Lauraxx

Hi Leigh,
I didn’t have rads as I already had lung scarring from amother kind of pneumonitis and they thought I could get more scarring with rads. My kind of pneumonitis came on slowly with breathlessness especially with exertion, no cough or pain, but awful tiredness. Eventually scanned and referred to a unit specialising in pneumonitis for further tests. Oxygen levels were low especially with exertion and I had oxygen at home until steroids settled down the inflammation. Several years later I am pretty good, just no good at hills.
Possibly more helpful is to say a friend with lung cancer has had radiation pneumonitis after rads and he had steroids for some months afterwards but slowly improved to normal.
I think that is the most common pattern for radiation pneumonitis. Just a thought, could the chest pain be from reflux? I got terrible reflux from my steroids and settled with stomach protecting pills.

As it is 2 weeks since you posted about this, I hope they have looked at you more and that you feel better by now

Hi Leigh,

I soryy to heard of your new dx and no surprise you have had to have a anti depressant. I can’t help you with the pneumontitis but I was on Dexamethsone for a chest infection (I have sec lung cancer) some of the symptoms you describe on similar to the one I had on this drug. I had to stop taking it as I could hardly breath and it was becoming difficult to swallow.

Just wondering if it is a side effect of this drug? I know when I stopped taking it all the symptoms disappeared. It’s amaxing how these drug effect us all differently.

I hope you’re recovering and sorry I too have just spotted your post.

Love and very best wishes to you
Chris xx