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Lung diseases

Asbestosis, COPD & Treatment

06/17/2010

Question:

My husband has asbestosis and is currently on oxygen 24/7. He is on 4 liters continuous. He also has COPD.

He has been diagnosed with recurrent prostate cancer (first time was 1998 when he had a radical prostatectomy). The doctor is considering radiation therapy (39 treatments)if it is found to be contained within the pelvic area. My question is: Does radiation therapy for prostate cancer have any negative effect on his pulmonary function? I understand he will be fatigued etc, but I want to know if it could possibly have any "direct effect on his pulmonary function".

At his last PFT, his FEV1 was 29% Pred. (so you can see our concern for any reduction of FEV1)

Thanks for the info.

Answer:

Radiation therapy to the chest can have side effects of pneumonitis and fibrosis. However, radiation treatment of prostate cancer should not have any direct effects on the lung. The radiation oncologists will plan on focusing the radiation to the area of the pelvis.

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Response by:

Karen L Wood, MD Karen L Wood, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University