How long after IMRT can I expect to get a cataract? I had this IMRT a year ago. I received 30 doses of 2gy per session and was told I would get a cataract from it?
Thanks for your Question
Formation of Cataract after exposure of IMRT(Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) depends on many factors such as Age of the patient, systemic association (Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus),doses and frequencies, location of the IMRT ( The incidence of cataract after radiation to head and neck are more than radiation to other parts of the body because there can be direct exposure to the lens) and Wearing protective goggle during radiation therapy.
Usually it takes years in order to cataract to develop after radiation therapy and its density increases gradually with time.Sometimes, especially in high risk patients ( Old age, with Diabetes Mellitus, radiation to neck and head,no protective goggles during therapy, high dose),cataract can develop within few months.
Patient starts to notice gradual decrease in vision.
Radiation cataract can be treated with phaco-emulsification and intraocular lens and the visual outcome is great.