Your oncologist recommended radiation to treat your breast or lung cancer. You consented to the treatment and believed it to be an essential part of your plan to fight cancer. Yet, you did not consent to a radiation overdose injury, or more specifically, the lung injury that resulted from too much radiation to your chest.
Lung Risks From Radiation Overdoses to the Chest
Radiation may effectively kill cancer cells, but it is supposed to be a localized treatment because it can also kill healthy cells. When the chest is exposed to too much radiation, you may suffer an unnecessary injury to your heart or lungs or experience other dangerous side effects. Some of the specific risks of receiving too much radiation to your lungs include:
- Radiation pneumonitis. Radiation pneumonitis occurs when the lungs become inflamed from radiation exposure. You may begin experiencing symptoms several months after your radiation treatment. These symptoms could include chest pain, cough, low-grade fever, shortness of breath, weakness, and coughed-up mucus that has a pink color. Treatment often includes steroids. However, if treatment is not successful, the effects could be permanent.
- Radiation fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis from radiation happens when the lungs become stiff or scarred. Radiation fibrosis can be a permanent health consequence of radiation pneumonitis. If you suffer from pulmonary fibrosis, your lungs can’t fully inflate, and you may not get enough air. Symptoms of radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis usually start 6-12 months after radiation therapy and may continue to progress for up to two years. Radiation fibrosis doesn’t always cause further injury, but it could lead to serious complications such as respiratory failure, pulmonary hypertension, and other potentially life-threatening medical complications.
After a cancer diagnosis, you may be particularly concerned about the health of your lungs, and you should promptly report any concerns to your doctors.
Other Serious Side Effects of Chest Radiation Overdoses
The lung problems described above are potentially life-threatening, but they are not the only health risks that increase when too much radiation is given. You could also suffer from dangerous heart complications or:
- A sore throat
- Swallowing problems
- Shortness of breath
- A cough
- Loss of appetite
- Hearing loss
- Facial paralysis
You may be unable to get the nutrition you need, and your quality of life may suffer significantly.
Don’t Risk Your Radiation Overdose Recovery
If you are suffering side effects that are inconsistent with the risks your doctors explained to you before you started radiation treatment, you could be suffering from a radiation overdose. You deserve to make a fair financial recovery if you are suffering the health consequences of someone else’s mistake. We know it can be challenging to trust healthcare providers after a serious mistake like this. However, a medical diagnosis and treatment plan may be necessary to save your life.
Our Kentucky radiation injury law firm, including our on-staff nurse, is here to find out exactly what happened to you. Our nurse can answer your questions and ask the difficult but necessary questions of your healthcare providers to find out why you were hurt. Our nurse, along with our lawyers, will analyze all of the evidence in your case and work with expert witnesses as appropriate. We will fight for your full recovery of past and future:
- Healthcare expenses
- Lost income
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
We want to help you get the compensation you deserve and hold the right people accountable so that future cancer patients do not face the same health risks from radiation overdoses to the chest.
Contact us any time to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced radiation overdose lawyers. We will give you the personal attention you deserve and take all of the necessary steps to thoroughly investigate your claim so that we can effectively fight for your fair and just recovery.