Pulmonary and respiratory problems after treatment?

milliebee Member Posts: 7
edited July 2022 in Anal Cancer #1

I completed my radiation/chemo at the end of March, and in mid June started getting more and more out of breath.

Three years ago, I was diagnosed with a mild case of pulmonary hypertension. Hypoxia was/is an issue, and I sleep with a CPAP/oxygen concentrator. I use a portable concentrator when I exercise or feel out of breath. I can tell when my blood oxygen level is low. In mid-June to early July, it got so bad thst even with my concentrator set on 4 (highest level), I couldn’t walk my dogs more that 3 blocks without resting. I Needed concentrator after shower before I dressed; oxygen level dipped into 50s (normal in 90s) without concentrator.

My pulmonologist drained a good bit of fluid from lungs, and worried it was cancer; however tests showed it to be benign, thank goodness. I am much improved since it was drained in early July. Doctor is well-known in his field, but is puzzled by what caused it. i think (and believe he does too) that it’s probably one of the chemo drugs. My hair has been more rapidly thinning than it did during treatment.

Has anyone else had this type of delayed breathing problems so long after treatment?



  • OPfarmer
    OPfarmer Member Posts: 14


    My treatment ended roughly the beginning of December.  Since treatment my chest has had a bit of loose phlem.  Before I did not have that.

    My oxogen levels have been fine though, nothing of a problem like you have.

    Just wierd, and frequently on my mind.


    I had two rounds Cistplatinum, and 2 rounds/12 days 5FU, 30 days radiation.  Landed in hospital for a week twice, lots of antibiotics, IV feeding and other fluids.  Ended up with bad edema both times.  Seems to me that caused the fluid/ loose chest for me.

  • kateril
    kateril Member Posts: 19 Member

    Hi, your post is old, so I'm wondering if you're still active on this board...

    I finished chemo/radiation (Nigro Protocol) in mid-April, and 2 months later, in June, have started having severe shortness of breath, heavy chest with pain in my back, and fatigue with any physical activity. It eases up with rest, however.

    I was diagnosed after a sleep study 4 years ago with mild sleep apnea/hypoxia, and use a CPAP.

    I have an appointment with a pulmonologist next week, and hope to get some answers as to what's going on.

    When I looked up symptoms, it suggests pulmonary hypertension, but of course I'll wait for testing and diagnosis, and keep wondering if chemo is the cause.

    Yours is the only post I've found so far relating to breathing problems post-treatment...

    How are you doing these days? Any resolution to your breathing problems, or are we stuck with this?