Update about my damn cough/breathlessness

For those who don’t know I’ve had a persistent dry cough since around Mar/April time, with breathlessness too when walking or trying to do anything that involves movement. Its been very frustrating, I kept mentioning it at hospital visits, but only when I saw my GP has anything been followed up.

I had a scan last week and was told the only thing that has shown up is a fracture in no.6 rib, probably caused by coughing.

I have had a follow up seeing my breast surgeon today and also had a mammogramme, which was ok, but the doctor today has suggested that the coughing etc might be as a result of radiotherapy and damage from that. He “doesn’t think” it is any sign of cancer as the scan didn’t suggest anything suspicious but he wants me to see a pulmonary specialist.

I’m not sure what can be done, if it is damage caused by rads - is it something that will heal itself? Either way I’m feeling pretty annoyed as I’ve mentioned it for so long and they didn’t listen to me.

I was told that rads could cause damage that might lead to a dry cough and that it was likely that if that did happen it would heal over time. But it was well hedged around with “likely” "expect’ and such terms.

Not sure that takes you any further forward because it is so vague but I do hope it does heal over a very short time.


I too have breathlessness/cough on occasions together with pains in my back. It’s like a general awareness of something not quite right.

I had a CT scan to check everything out, it came back clear. The feeling is one the side of my rads, so I am now assuming it is another SE that I’m going to have to deal with.

It’s always good to follow up until you have peace of mind.


I am 2 weeks post Rads and have developed breathlesness and today a dry cough… I have a feeling of pressure on my chest and a feeling of being winded in between my shoulder blades… I was wondering if this was from rads? also I’m on herceptin which has reduced my LVI to 51%, not sure if that can cause you to become breathless? Is this quite a common thing?


Fiona xxxx

I was told by my onc that I would lose 2 to 4 % of lung capacity due to damage from Radiotherapy ( because of site of tumour)and that damage is permanant but unless top flight athlete would not have an impact. Also told may get a dry cough and lymphodema of breast but that would go (although may take up to 2 years).

I was also told prior to rads that I may either end up with a nagging dry cough as part of the lung may be radiated or with angina if the radiation missed the lung but clipped the heart. These side effects were permanent.
I do get coughs regularly and they take around three months to clear! I suppose the upside is I don’t get symptoms of angina.