Pericardial disease after breast cancer radiotherapy
Background. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer worldwide. Thanks to the modern oncological treatments, disease specific survival has improved throughout the last decades. A number of breast cancer survivors has been increasing and more and more attention has been paid on the breast cancer treatment side effects. Whereas there are a lot of data regarding ishemic heart disease after radiotherapy for breast cancer, there is not much data in the literature about incidence and a clinical meaning of pericardial disease after breast cancer radiotherapy.
Conclusions. Although radiation-induced pericarditis is the earliest form of radiation-induced cardiovascular disease after irradiation of the heart, it seems that in clinical practice, especially by using modern radiotherapy treatment techniques, it is underdiagnosed because patients are mostly asymptomatic. However, in some cases, especially in its late form and after multimodal systemic oncological treatment in combination with radiotherapy, it could be presented in severe form and life-threatening. Treatment modalities for radiation-induced pericardial disesease are the same as in the non-irradiated population, but in the irradiated patients, surgery may be difficult.