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Question:
My mom had radiation treatment for breastcancer 2.5 yrs ago and I am wondering about the aftereffects of the treatment especially about high blood pressure and breathing problems. thank you
jl 
Answer:
Lung inflammation is an uncommon but recognised complication following on from radiotherapy to the breast. The severity of this is related to whether or not the person smokes or has any pre-existing lung disease, types of chemotherapy that may also have been used, and the volume of lung exposed to irradiation (which of course depends on exactly where the cancer was). Only about one in fifty women treated with radiotherapy actually develop this inflammation. It has been found that women who had a left sided breast cancer with radiotherapy treatment may experience an increased risk of heart disease over the next 15 years. About 1-2 % may experience a fracture in their ribs after chest radiotherapy. There does not appear to be any increased risk of new cancers developing within the site of radiotherapy treatment, with 16 years of followup in these studies. Your mother will need to discuss specific questions relating to her treatment with her doctor. Best wishes.
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