Before beginning treatment for invasive breast cancer, you likely will have a chest x-ray to check and see whether the cancer has spread to the lungs. The test also may be used to assess the heart and lungs before you receive general anesthesia or chemotherapy.
During treatment for breast cancer, chest x-rays may be used in the following situations:
- If a person has advanced breast cancer that has spread to the lungs, a chest x-ray is used to check on how the disease is responding to treatment.
- For people who develop a fever during chemotherapy, chest x-rays are used to check for the presence of pneumonia.
- If a person experiences new shortness of breath in the first few months after radiation therapy, with or without a cough, her doctor may order a chest x-ray to see if the radiation caused any inflammation of the lungs.