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Radiation Pneumonitis
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Radiation Pneumonitis

II have completed neoadjuvant therapy, a mastectomy and radiation and am on Arimidex.  My medical oncologist ran a CAT scan on my lungs in May 2009 because I was having shortness of breath.  "A 3 cm fluffy density posteriorly in the right upper lobe which could represent radiation firbosis....   A small focus of atypical pneumonitis could potentially have this appearance and should be correlated clinically," was the finding.  My medical oncologist said it was nothing to be concerned about and would most likely not remain a problem.  My family doctor was concerned enough to have a staff member call to make sure I would have follow-up.  My endocrineologist also expressed concern and said it should be followed up with an MRI.  She even indicated that, if necessary, she would order it.  At a follow-up appointment, I took a copy of the scan to my radiation oncologist who is with a different hospital.  The nurse placed it in my chart, and the doctor  completed his exam and started to leave without commenting on it.  I brought it to his attention, and he said he hadn't seen it.  After reading it, he was adamant that it was not from radiation and that if it were, it would be anterior not posterior.  He said it had to be from something else.  I've contacted my medical oncologist and am hoping to hear back soon.  She promised me when I started my treatments that she would always be straight with me.  My endocrineologist has now suggested it would be best it the two oncologists discussed it together.  I am so frustrated by all of this.  What does it take to get to the truth?  I have no intention of putting myself through the hell of a law suit.  I just want to know what is going on, and I feel like I am a "hot potato" that no one will touch.  
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Dear gardenergal,  Radiation pneumonitis is an inflammation of the lung tissue that is sometimes seen as a reaction after radiation to the lung tissue.  It is difficult to comment on the findings without seeing the scans, knowing the radiation field and putting the information into context.  It seems at this point follow up with the medical oncologist does make the most sense as they were the one to order the scan initially and now, 3 months later may want to see if the finding has resolved.    
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