Delay rib radiation to avoid lung damage?

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Question from Linda: Is it advisable to delay radiation to rib mets, if possible, due to possible damage to the lungs?
Answers - Marisa Weiss, M.D. In general, rib metastases are associated with mild discomfort that is treatable with medication, unless there is a fracture associated with the metastasis. There are various ways to treat rib metastases when they occur without other sites of disease. Radiation can be very helpful and does not usually result in significant damage to surrounding tissues, including the underlying lungs. So, if you are experiencing significant rib pain and medication is not helping you to your satisfaction, ask your doctor to refer you to a radiation oncologist.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Metastatic Breast Cancer featured Musa Mayer, Eric P. Winer, M.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about treatment and quality of life issues related to advanced (metastatic) breast cancer.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in September 2003.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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