Whenever someone suffers from a life-threatening condition such as cancer, they may endure radiation therapy as a treatment option. Radiation is a great option to help attack the cancer cells within the body. However, there are potential dangers when a doctor exposes a patient to radiation for an extensive amount of time.
As helpful as radiation can be, the potential side effects can have a long-term impact on the patient. Some of these side effects are site-specific, depending on where the therapy is targeting. Late effects are the most severe problems regarding radiation therapy.
Radiation therapy to the chest can cause significant long-term problems for survivors of cancer treatment. The patient may develop one of the following heart conditions:
- Congestive heart failure (CHF): This condition weakens the heart, causing shortness of breath and dizziness.
- Arrhythmia: Arrhythmia is the medical name for an irregular heartbeat. Patients who suffer from this can have chest pain, lightheadedness, and trouble breathing.
- Coronary artery disease: Patients with coronary heart disease usually develop the condition because of high radiation doses. Chest pain and shortness of breath are common symptoms.
Lung cancer patients often receive radiation therapy to fight the problem cells. However, extensive radiation and chemotherapy together can cause damage to a person’s lungs. These long-term problems can include:
- The lungs weaken, and shortness of breath sets in
- The lining of the lungs thickens
- The patient has trouble breathing
- The lungs become inflamed
Doctors must monitor patients to prevent extensive radiation exposure from causing significant harm. Failure to do so makes them negligent for any long-term damages the patient suffers from, including chest and lung problems.
At The Edwards Law Firm, we recognize how to prove medical negligence on your behalf. You can trust our Corpus Christi medical malpractice attorneys to advocate for your rights. We’ll guide you through the process of pursuing justice and compensation from a negligent medical professional.
Call our firm today at (361) 541-6333 and speak with a member of our team about your options.