Post chemo radiation cough

Does anyone have experience with severity and timing of a post radiation cough? My husband had chemo and radiation and about a month after radiation developed a cough and shortness of breath. He had an X ray to see about pneumonitis but it was clear. Is cough often a side effect even if lung X ray does not show indication of pneumonitis or cancer. I do realize a CT gives more information but that is in a week or so. I worry about other things going on. Thanks so much

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Both chemo and radiation can be pneumotoxic. Radiation pneumonitis can show up as late as 6 mo after.
I know they can see typical pneumonitis from radiation on a ct, I am not quite sure how sensitive a regular xray is. I believe it shows up but maybe there is a time lapse.
anyway, a cough can have many origins, it could be post nasal drip, acid reflux (notorius in lc patients undergoing chemo and /or radiation) to mention a few.

Is it a productive cough?

Does he also have COPD? Bronchitis?

They should be able to prescibe something for his cough. I took mucinex
and a Hydrocodone cough syrup that helped very well.

Wishing you all the best.

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Pretty common I think. After radiation I went to Florida on vacation and developed a constant croupy cough. I went to the ER in Sarasota thinking I had a reoccurance of lung tumors......It was just a reaction to the earlier radiation. No one had warned me that a cough might occur. Had I known I would not have fled to the ER. Codeine cough syrup was Rxd and I was in dreamland during the final phase of my vacation. Hope all is well with your husband....cynthia from MO.

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Thanks for your replies. Annika, you mentioned post nasal drip and reflux causing a cough. Are they both common after chemo/radiation or just reflux? I am wondering exactly how the damage effects post nasal drip and increases reflux. May help in knowing how to treat symptoms. My husband's cough is not real productive but sounds like it should be. He does not have COPD but developed asthma as an adult. Cynthia, thanks for information. I agree, doctors don't tell you about cough and then you panic that there is return of cancer. Hope your cough is better. I would be interested in knowing how long people have experienced cough after treatment. Hope you both are doing well. Thanks again.

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My cough went away within a week of treatment. Also some blood pressure meds cause a similar cough...Sarasota ER said my bp med was contributing to my cough problem, so a new bp med was Rxd.

I pray for you and your loved one today!
cynthia from MO.

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Has your hubby been prescribed steroids at all? They can help if there is inflammation post radiotherapy. I know they have checked for pneumonitis, but it might be worth asking the doc if he/she thinks short term steroids might help.
I do hope you find the answers and your husband improves. It is often the case that the treatment ends up causing more problems than the actual disease!
With love and best wishes, Carolyn

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I agree. I have thought about steroids even though X ray didn't show pneumonitis. His radiation CT will be done next week so we will wait on that. We may see more in CT scan. He has been coughing for at least a month so I am also interested in knowing if others have experienced longer term coughing following chemo/radiation. Any information on this would be appreciated. Best to everyone.

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My husband had 8 rad treatments & stopped 9 days ago. noticed his cough coming back more las 2 days. He just took prednisone for inflammation in esophagus. Not sure why his cough got bettr on radiation & now worse.

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