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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 4

of 'Overview of cancer pain syndromes'

Reversible brachial plexopathy following primary radiation therapy for breast cancer.
Salner AL, Botnick LE, Herzog AG, Goldstein MA, Harris JR, Levene MB, Hellman S
Cancer Treat Rep. 1981;65(9-10):797.
Reversible brachial plexopathy has occurred in very low incidence in patients with breast carcinoma treated definitively with radiation therapy. Of 565 patients treated between January 1968 and December 1979 with moderate doses of supervoltage radiation therapy (average axillary dose of 5000 rad in 5 weeks), eight patients (1.4%) developed the characteristic symptoms at a median time of 4.5 months after radiation therapy. This syndrome consists of paresthesias in all patients, with weakness and pain less commonly seen. The symptom complex differs from other previously described brachial plexus syndromes, including paralytic brachial neuritis, radiation-induced injury, and carcinoma. A possible relationship to adjuvant chemotherapy exists, though the etiology is not well-understood. The cases described demonstrate temporal clustering. Resolution is always seen.