Does Radiation Weaken The Heart?

What does radiation do to the heart?

While high doses of radiation can cause acute pericarditis, most manifestations of radiation-induced heart disease are observed more than a decade after radiation therapy and include accelerated atherosclerosis, adverse myocardial remodeling, conduction abnormalities, and injury to cardiac valves [4–6]..

Can radiation for breast cancer damage the heart?

For most breast cancer patients, the risk of developing heart failure from chemotherapy is quite low—less than 0.5% per year. Radiation therapy raises heart attack risk by approximately 1% per year and also increases the risk of heart failure.

What are long term side effects of radiation?

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause long-term side effects to the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. These include: Hearing loss from high doses of chemotherapy, especially drugs like cisplatin (multiple brand names) Increased risk of stroke from high doses of radiation to the brain.

Can radiation cause fluid around the heart?

Radiation-induced pericardial disease is one of the most common and also the earliest manifestation of radiation-induced heart disease to occur following irradiation of the heart. It could be presented as acute pericarditis, pericardial effusion, delayed thickening and constrictive pericarditis.

What is the first sign of too much radiation?

Symptoms of radiation sickness may include: Weakness, fatigue, fainting, confusion. Bleeding from the nose, mouth, gums, and rectum. Bruising, skin burns, open sores on the skin, sloughing of skin.

Can radiation cause heart problems?

Radiation therapy used in cancer treatment can cause problems in the heart and vascular (circulation) system. This effect is called cardiotoxicity. Cardiotoxicity can develop within days or months after radiation but often develops years later.

Can radiation cause chest pains?

Common symptoms of radiation pneumonitis include: Shortness of breath that usually gets worse with exercise. Chest pain, which is often worse when taking in a deep breath.

What are the long term effects of breast radiation?

Long-term side effects can last beyond a year after treatment. They may include a slight darkening of your skin, enlarged pores on your breast, more or less sensitive skin, thickening of breast tissue or skin, and a change in the size of the breast.

What does radiation do to your lungs?

Radiation therapy works by killing or damaging cancerous cells. During this process, it can also irritate other structures, including noncancerous cells and tissue. In the case of radiation pneumonitis, it causes inflammation of the small air sacs, called alveoli, in your lungs.

How long does it take to recover from radiation therapy?

Most side effects generally go away within a few weeks to 2 months of finishing treatment. But some side effects may continue after treatment is over because it takes time for healthy cells to recover from the effects of radiation therapy. Late side effects can happen months or years after treatment.

Does radiation shorten your life?

According to the study’s authors, findings showed that: chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other cancer treatments cause aging at a genetic and cellular level, prompting DNA to start unraveling and cells to die off sooner than normal.

Does radiation increase blood pressure?

Prolonged exposure to low-dose radiation – like the type emitted by X-ray machines and CT scanners – can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, a key contributor to heart disease and stroke, a new study has found.

Does radiation on left breast affect the heart?

Years ago, researchers discovered that many patients who underwent radiation therapy to the left breast later developed heart conditions, including pericardial disease, conduction abnormalities, coronary artery disease, congestive heart disease, heart valve disease and even sudden cardiac death.

Does radiation weaken your immune system?

Radiation therapy can potentially affect your immune system, especially if a significant amount of bone marrow is being irradiated because of its role in creating white blood cells. However, this doesn’t typically suppress the immune system enough to make you more susceptible to infections.

What is the most common acute side effect of radiation treatment?

Fatigue is the most common acute side effect of radiation therapy. It is believed to be caused by the tremendous amount of energy that is used by the body to heal itself in response to radiation therapy.

How long does your breast hurt after radiation?

2. Swelling of the breast. Your breast or chest area may appear swollen and feel uncomfortable. This usually settles within a few weeks after treatment.

Is radiation worse than chemo?

Radiation therapy involves giving high doses of radiation beams directly into a tumor. The radiation beams change the DNA makeup of the tumor, causing it to shrink or die. This type of cancer treatment has fewer side effects than chemotherapy since it only targets one area of the body.

Does radiation make you look older?

The study authors said a wide-ranging review of scientific evidence found that: Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other cancer treatments cause aging at a genetic and cellular level, prompting DNA to start unraveling and cells to die off sooner than normal.