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Cough after radiation anyone????

Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by myworstnightmare on Jan 23, 2019 1:33 am

Hello everyone,

I am just wondering if anyone has experienced a chronic cough after completing radiation treatment for BC?

After a lumpectomy and removal of 6 lymph nodes last July, I had 25 sessions of radiation to the affected breast and lymph nodes area (under the arm). I have completed the radiation sessions on October 15th last year and on Nov. 1st started Anastrozole. On Oct 24th, I had a sinus infection to which I was treated with antibiotics but then the cough started and hasn't stopped since then. After countless antibiotics, puffers, netti pot rinses, nasal sprays,cough syrups, chest x rays that came back normal, breathing test - normal, nothing seems to help the cough and I am going out of my mind. I take the puffers and it helps for half an hour and unless I have a ricola in my mouth, I can't stop coughing and I can't breath. 

If anyone here experienced that dreadful cough, did anything help stop it?

I would appreciate any suggestions you may have. I see doctor after doctor, both in private clinics and the hospital and no one seems to be able to give me an answer as to why I am coughing so much.


Hugs everyone,


Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by scaredysquirrel on Jan 23, 2019 2:54 pm

Yes, I had a cough for 3 or 4 months after my radiation and chemo treatments ended.  I took an acid reflux pill and it helped.  Eventually cough stooped, although I've a bit of a cough lately after eating.   Could be acid reflux.  As your Dr.

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by myworstnightmare on Jan 23, 2019 8:07 pm

I don't have an acid reflux as this would include heartburn feeling after eating. The cough syrup helps for a bit, ricola helps as long as I have it in my mouth and the puffers - symbicort and ventolin help for a bit but nothing else has worked so far.

This is ridiculous that they don't tell you these things before starting. I expected the swelling and tingling in the arm I have now developed since they talked about it, my hair is thinning out and it's driving me nuts but these things and other little annoying things were mentioned, oh and damage to the lungs, heart and breast could happen with the radiation - so is there anything actually "good" that accompanies this awful treatment? it kills cancer cells but it also kills healthy cells. On top of this, taking the anastrozole, if I had any estrogen in my body, now I have none and that too has side effects. Is there a quality of life after all these treatments? I am starting to wonder why didn't I follow my girlfriend's choice of having a mastectomy with reconstructive surgery and forget radiation. She is now done with 5 years of tamoxifen - no side effects, she looks and feels amazing and no annoying things like I am experiencing.

Oh and since I have IBS, the Anastrozole makes it even more horrible to deal with.

Sometimes I wonder why did it happen to me? why did it happen to any of us? my doctor is saying 2 out of 3 people in Canada has cancer. Don't you wonder what is it we are doing that causes this? my friend Sam is distributing something called C60 which is based on TCH - (or something like that) that is derived from none other than the famous "weed" plant that is now legalized in Canada. He says that he watched people to whom the doctors said - go home and make your arrangements and peace with your family and friends, you have just a few weeks to live and there is nothing we can do - they took this product and within a short time it killed their cancer. I wonder sometimes if maybe this is the cure for this awful disease and it would save us all the terrible treatments and side effects from them. Don't you????

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by myworstnightmare on Jan 23, 2019 8:15 pm

BTW, if you can google it - listen to Rick Simpson's interview with Cannabis.net - "Cannabis THC cures cancer, not CBD - Rick simpson oil interview" and I would love to hear your opinion on it:)

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by myworstnightmare on Jan 23, 2019 8:22 pm

Ahhhhh, I forgot something - I listened to Dr. Mark Stengler talk about a book by Allan Spreen called - Tomorrow's cancer cures today - it is talking about things that you can do at home, that Ronald Regan cured his colon cancer by doing this and it is called "the clarion 55 protocol" - I have ordered the book through amazon.ca that is less than half the price that is offered by Dr. Stengler and by Friday will get it. It will be interesting to know how countless people "melted" their cancer. It was Nancy, his wife, that has found this protocol and followed it and that's how Regan's life was saved. When he went into his second term he looked amazing after he completed that protocol.

Hey, maybe we still have a chance for a healthy new life eh??

One never knows until we try right?

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by Julypoppy on Jan 24, 2019 7:07 pm

At my first radiation appointment I was told that about 1 in 100 patients having radiation develop a cough after the radiation is complete. He said if this happens to me then I should make an appointment with him. He called it something but I can't recall the name. Perhaps this is what has happened to you. I would recommend discussing this with your oncologist.
Hope you feel better soon

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by myworstnightmare on Jan 24, 2019 9:47 pm

Yes, I have an appointment on January 30th with my oncologist so I'll see what he says. in the meantime, the lung dr. who saw me for my cough is sending me for a ct scan on the 28th - so hopefully things will change.

Thanks for confirming that this indeed is happening with some people. 


Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by Jillie on Jan 25, 2019 10:29 am

I finished my last radiation 6 months ago and the cough started about 2 months ago. its been pretty constant. its not necessarily a dry cough, there is flem or mucas each time. i went to a GP- chest xray was clear and she put me on zpack it didnt help so she said it was probably viral and would go away but it hasnt. i went to an oncologist and hee ordered a ct scan so i have to wait and see. does your doctor see a need for concer? WHAT COULD IT POSSIBLY BE?

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by Elsie13 on Jan 25, 2019 1:37 pm

myworstnightmare‍      Well, myself, I wouldn't try the Clarion 55.  Those immunological treatments though, might be the wave of the future.  How is your cough now? Any better?

"To date, there are not any random controlled clinical trials for Clarion 55…and there will not be because it is simply NOT that easy to “cure cancer” as if it were a single disorder, it is not this easy to target only cancer cells without collateral damage (although real, emerging immunological treatments are gaining ground!), and, fundamentally, this protocol is not the promising treatment claimed by the people currently selling it."

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by Elsie13 on Jan 25, 2019 1:57 pm

Jillie‍ , Waiting for CT scans and doctors appointments can be really frustration, I know. But unfortunately, that's the only way to actually find out what's going on. Some people on this site suggest keeping busy, cleaning out closets and drawers. I'm not so into that.  But with the awful icy sidewalks we've had, I've been catching up on TV series. I love medical dramas, Grey's Anatomy, New Amsterdam and Chicago Med. 
Jillie, do you have certain hobbies, projects, to help pass the time? 

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by Jillie on Jan 26, 2019 2:37 pm

Hi Elsie13‍ 
thats exactly what I do !  I love watching tv.  All the wrong shows meaning the medical..greys anatomy and new Amsterdam and the resident.  Cooking shows and I can’t eat.   I don’t know why I am so into those shows.  Between that and property bothers, love it or list it, that’s what got me through treatment.  I love to clean but only if I feel good and have energy which has not been the case
how are you?

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by Jillie on Jan 26, 2019 2:37 pm

Hi Elsie13‍ 
thats exactly what I do !  I love watching tv.  All the wrong shows meaning the medical..greys anatomy and new Amsterdam and the resident.  Cooking shows and I can’t eat.   I don’t know why I am so into those shows.  Between that and property bothers, love it or list it, that’s what got me through treatment.  I love to clean but only if I feel good and have energy which has not been the case
how are you?

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by Elsie13 on Jan 27, 2019 3:31 pm

Jillie‍ Most of the time I'm doing really well. I had ovarian cancer and finished all treatments in June 2017.  Now my blood tests show no evidence of disease.  I go to the gym usually 3 times a week, but not when it's minus 23 Celcius, and not when the sidewalks are icy.  (I walk to the gym.) I have lymphedema in both legs, so it doesn't hurt, but it's important to take care of things. I have special garments to wear, special massage and exerises to do. It's a permanent condition. 

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by myworstnightmare on Feb 24, 2019 3:57 pm

Elsie, sorry it took me long to answer you because I have been so busy at work I have no time to breath. Literally!!! 
My cough is NOT better yet. The ct scan to the radiated breast showed no great lung damage - just a big of scarring but no asthma and no big damage to the lung, then last Friday I had another ct scan to the sinuses. it will take a few days to get the results and the lung dr. is sending me to another ENT because "the other ENT doesn't specialize in sinus?????" did anyone ever hear such a thing? isn't an ENT - ear nose and throat specialist? so why wouldn't he specialize in sinus??? so now I have to wait until I get an appt with the new ENT to find out if maybe my sinuses are causing the cough. I think it is because I have been cough for a year now and in previous years every time I had a cold or a flu I would cough for months at a time. The radiation only intensified the cough.
On top of it all - now I am experiencing a very sharp pain in the area of the lymph nodes and the upper back on the side of the radiation - it's hard to breath, it's hard to cough because with every cough and with every breath I get a sharp pain. I end up having to take 2 aspirins with codeine every 4 hours at night. I have puffers which help for about 1/2 hour and then it comes back, I take nyquil at night so that I can sleep a few hours and life is dandy.

I really really am having a hard time coping with all this. I try to stay positive, meditae, exercise, work hard at work but it's getting to me often why don't they find out the cause of all this cough. They even did EKG and my heart is fine - so why, oh why, am I coughing so much for so long????

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by nancy180 on Feb 25, 2019 10:57 am

So sorry that you have the dreaded cough. I had chemo/brachytherapy /radiation/ surgery almost 4 years ago and I stillcough. 
Everything on x-rays and CT totally clear. 
Acid reflux does occur without heartburn etc. At night I take cough syrup for dry cough and during the day I eat gaviscon tablets and cough drops. 
According to the American Medical Associations Cancer web site, chronic respiratory problems can occur after many different types of surgery. My surgery was so difficult I almost died on the table and again a few weeks later. 
I think the drainage tubes damaged my lungs. I can function standing up but I can barely bend over. So housework, gardening etc are very difficult. 
The confusing thing is that, like you, my scans etc show no damage. I still have awful rib pain and nerve pain. 
I’m resigned to the cough. I don’t think it’s going away after 4 years. I hope your cough improves!! 
All the best, 

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by Elsie13 on Feb 25, 2019 5:24 pm

myworstnightmare‍ , nancy180‍  How terrible - time goes by and you still have these problems. And having to wait for another doctor, myworstnightmare!
You two probably have lots to discuss, so I'll just mention how to tag someone: you type the @ symbol, and you start typing the person's name. Two or three blue boxes could appear, and you click on the one you want. 

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by Tesachi on Mar 26, 2019 4:06 pm

I am recovering from my bilateral mastectomy and will have radiation treatment after I gain full range of motion in my arms and shoulders. My radiation oncologist advised that one of the possible side effects of radiation treatment is pneumonitis, and one of the symptoms is cough, that can be treated with steroids.  Below is a link from Canadian Cancer Society regarding this possible side effect:


If cough persists, please seek medical help.

Tesachi - Teresa

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by myworstnightmare on Jun 12, 2019 6:13 pm

Thank you for your advice Tesachi‍  They found out that even though I have a mild fibrosis because of the radiation (scarring to the lung), the cause of the cough is actually coming from acid reflux. I am going tomorrow to have a colonoscopy/endoscopy and hopefully they will tell me how to treat it. I tried to go on prednisone for a short while because they don't like to prescribe it long term and it did absolutely nothing at all, (twice for 10 days), so I think maybe the gastro/endo is right and I do have acid reflux. it has been 1 1/2 years that I am coughing constantly, way before my cancer diagnosis, so I don't think the radiation has caused it, maybe it increased it but not caused it. Man, it sucks to have all these things happening all at once. I wish it will all go away already. I used to be soooooo healthy before my diagnosis, I was running marathons, I was doing my martial arts (black belt), I was eating healthy meals, meditating, so why, God, why is all this happening? I don't smoke (never), I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I live a healthy life and now this:(
Not a pity party, just that it bugs me that I did everything right yet I got sick. My girlfriend too was a health nut and last summer, at the same time I was diagnosed, she too was diagnosed with 3 types of cancer - brain, lungs, spine all at the same time, they gave her 2 weeks to live but she beat the odds and it has been 7 months since they told her she would die, now it went to the bone and broke one rib, so she is at Princess Margaret and acting like a toddler (according to her hubby), having seizures and deteriorating rapidly. Man, this sucks big time!!! Another girlfriend of mine was diagnosed with lung cancer and she is holding on so far and getting better with treatments, so hopefully she will get better.
I don't know what's happening nowadays! my doctor said 2 out of 3 people in Canada are being diagnosed with cancer nowadays. Any idea why is that??????
Big hug everyone xo

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jun 13, 2019 9:31 am

myworstnightmare‍ , I’m sorry you are having a rough go of it these days and that you have so many of your friends dealing with cancer, too.

17 years ago, my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and I remember him saying after, “I don’t feel right” or “I never feel like I did before.”  After his lung cancer 18 months ago, and his chemo last year, he started saying something similar, so now we’re going through more tests, this time for heart (he’s approaching 80 now). I’m telling you this because it says to me that what you’re experiencing seems to happen to others. Small comfort, I know.

I’m no expert, but I used to wonder if the increase in cancer was simply because no one knew what people were dying from 100 years ago. Even 50 years ago, they didn’t know the genetic links between prostate cancer and breast cancer, AND, nobody talked about them because it was too shocking to discuss in conversation. One lady I used to know said that there were a lot of people in her family who had “stomach” cancer - a euphemism for any cancer found between the prostate and the breast - ovaries, uterus, etc. You just didn’t talk about “those parts” in the 1960s, or even the 1970s!

I also think that early detection has increased the number of cancer patients as well as the number of cancer survivors. My Mom caught both colon and skin cancers at very early stage (the former was pre-cancerous), and my Dad has had prostate, melanoma, and lung cancer. Dad had a grandfather and a great grandfather die from prostate, and 10 years after he had it, his older brother got it. So, genetics is clearly a cause.

”They” have produced many articles over the years as to the causes of cancer: bacon, smoking, sitting, alcohol, processed foods, coffee, etc. - even potentially geographic areas. Some of these have been proven, and others have been debunked, and still others have been revealed to be ok in moderation. 

So, open conversation about cancer, early detection, genetics, and known causes are four reasons I can think of that answer your question about why so many people are being diagnosed with cancer. I’m sorry - again, this is not a big help to you or the people you care about.

I hope you will get to the cause of your cough, and that your friends find whatever they need to serve them in the best way possible.

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by Tesachi on Jun 13, 2019 12:48 pm

 Anytime you feel the need to vent out your frustration about this persistent cough or anything else, is okay. It is part of the emotional rollercoaster we are living after cancer diagnosis and treatments. You are proactive with your health and doing anything you can to find out the root of the problem with this cough.
  Big hugs back to you.

Teresa - Tesachi

Re: Cough after radiation anyone????

Posted by myworstnightmare on Aug 7, 2019 11:33 am

Thank you Cynthia Mac‍  and  Tesachi‍ Teresa for your reply, My cough has subsided tremendously and I contribute this to the natural therapies I have been treated with lately - electromagnetic therapy and C-60 that I take and collodial silver water. Thank God for my friend Sam who is very health concious and directed me to his 2 friends who are naturopath and medical doctors and they showed me the way, also I have done the research about Paida and Lajin self healing by Xiao and if you download it from the internet (for free), it's a book of 51 pages but very valuable, you will be able to clear your energy field naturally and clean your blocked Chakras (I am a firm believer in energy in the body) and that helps me a lot.

I am doing everything I can to get healthy. I meditate every day, exercise and try to deal with stress on a whole new level of understanding. It is working so far.

A big hug to all you cancer patients and survivors and helpers, it's a big pill to swallow but you know what? you have to believe that someone up there is directing your destiny and only he will decide what will happen to do. You have to keep the faith and try your best to lead a healthy happy life because every moment that passes is a moment less to live and be happy. 

Wishing you a happy healthy life from the bottom of my heart xo