Radiation Pneumonitis 101

October 22, 2021
Radiation Pneumonitis 101

Radiation pneumonitis is a condition that can happen concurrently with lung cancer treatments. Radiation pneumonitis is an inflammation of the lungs. Often the symptoms don’t require formal medical treatment, but can in severe cases. In order to determine if pneumonitis is the reason for your symptoms and if you require additional medical treatment, doctors will have to conduct a few tests. 

Pneumonitis can be hard to catch because the symptoms are similar to the tumor itself, symptoms like difficulty breathing and a dry cough. There are a few risk factors that increase your likelihood to suffer from this. Surprisingly, smokers are less likely to see this problem, although it is still a possibility. 

There are a few ways you can limit your risk of radiation pneumonitis and fight the symptoms if it develops:

Eat Soy Isoflavones. This compound found in soy-based products like tofu can help with inflammation that you’re experiencing in your lungs.

Keep Your House Cleaned. Allergens can cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis, so it’s important to keep the house clean. Have someone else dust and vacuum if you don’t feel well enough to do it yourself. If you need help, care.com is a great place to advertise an open housekeeper position. 

Use Corticosteroids. Some doctors will treat pneumonitis with corticosteroids because they depress the immune system and thus reduce inflammation. 

Use Antibiotics. Depending on the other symptoms and diagnosis, some doctors prescribe medication like Biaxin which has been known to slow radiation pneumonitis and in some cases, prevent it from happening. 

Use Bronchodilators. These medications come in inhalers and can relax the muscles of the airways. Doctors prescribe these also in the case of COPD, which like pneumonitis, is a possible comorbidity of lung cancer. 

Oxygen Therapy. If you have enough inflammation, breathing might be difficult. Masks and machines can assist when the medication isn’t powerful enough.

Learn More About Radiation Pneumonitis With OneVillage

Regardless of where you are in your cancer journey, OneVillage is here to help. OneVillage is dedicated to providing the support, information, goods, and services that cancer patients need. Whether you’re wondering how to deal with radiation pneumonitis or how to find a community of people like you, OneVillage is here.  In addition to highly personalized recommendations and checklists to help you navigate your new normal, through our WishList feature we also allow supporters to contribute to a fund for  your medical trips and other expenses. If you have any further questions about what OneVillage offers and site features, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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