Only if the radiation was to the hand region. The radiation would have to affect the median nerve at the base of the palm.
However, if the radiation was to the shoulder, breast, neck region, then it could have affected the nerve at a higher level. Then, yes, it is possible to get symptoms in the hand, even from the higher injury to the nerve.
But, that is not considered carpal tunnel syndrome. And doing a carpal tunnel release would not help alleviate the symptoms.
However, it is possible that the patient has the usual idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome, in addition to having the radiation treatments. But, the radiation did not cause it.
It is very unlikely. However, radiation therapy can deplete the body's stores of beta-carotene and vitamins C and E.
However, the radiation for the breast cancer has been known to cause symptoms that are close to carpal tunnel syndrome. The radiation is close to the brachial plexus, which is the nerves that supply the arm and hand. If the radiation damaged some of those nerves, you can get numbness and tingling in the arm or hand.
Also, sometimes radiation will affect the lymphatic drainage of the upper extremities. If there is a build up of edema in the arms, that can compress the nerves, causing the symptoms of numbness and tingling.
If these symptoms continue, you should have your oncologist take a look. Good luck.
I experienced concentrated (one week) breast radiation to my left breast after a lumpectomy. I had the radiation in March of 2013. On the second night (after 4 intense sessions) I developed, for the first time in my life, symptoms of CTS in my right hand. I do daily CTS exercises, ice the wrist, take B vitamins, wear a brace at night, and have seen an orthopedic surgeon who can only say he's not sure I have CTS.
So far nothing has worked. Any suggestions anybody??