Fear of radiation after lumpectomy
I was seriously thinking of refusing radiation after lumpectomy because I had complete removal of tumor with wide negative margins. I was convinced that there would be no lung, rib, or heart radiation by using the prone(lying on stomach) with breast hanging down. They have been very careful with treatments & very accommodating so after 4 treatments I am feeling more secure by my decision to do this to ensure all cancer was caught.
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My “team” was also a joke. I even had a nurse navigator who I was told would be coordinating everything….another joke. I didn’t get very much info from my team, other than the standard information. I did a LOT of research checking the bigger cancer sites. After seeing the same information on risks over & over it was a pass for me. One of the Mayo moderators said it best, “with cancer, you’re the player, the referee & the coach in the game” on figuring it all out. I decided to not get radiation or take AI’s too!. I had a small area of DCIS, ER/PR+. Had a stereotactic biopsy which ended up removing it. I did follow through with a lumpectomy, for which the pathology report said there was no cancer present in the specimen. Radiation & AI’s were still recommended. I questioned the need for radiation since the biopsy removed it all & I was told it was as a precaution & was the “standard care” for DCIS. Oncotype DX test says I have a 9% chance of a reoccurrence. I have osteoporosis too so after also doing my own research made the decision for no AI’s. Also researched radiation & found it’s the “gift” that keeps on giving…..for the rest of your life & also if you have radiation once you can’t get it again if it reoccurs in the same breast. The only option then is a mastectomy. Both my oncologist & radiology oncologist said survival rates were the same if I did or did not take the meds & radiation. My thought is why go through all this then taking chances of creating other health problems? I didn’t feel it was worth it for a 3% decreased risk & a chance of another lumpectomy if I did have a reoccurrence. Another thought was I’ll be monitored every 6 months by getting a mammogram alternated with an MRI since I also have dense breasts. If there is a reoccurrence, it should be caught early enough to treat. Cancer is a personal journey so my decisions may not be best for others BUT I’m at peace with my decision to roll the dice.
I was diagnosed with DCIS grade 2 ER/PR +. I had a lumpectomy with clean margins. When i was diagnosed I consulted two surgeons from two different hospitals. One surgeon from
A leading cancer hospital said a lumpectomy with one week of radiation because I’m 71 years old and the second hospital and surgeon said radiation and 5 weeks of radiation. That’s a big difference in protocol. Has anyone only had 1 week of radiation?
renel1636, I agree with you 100%, quality of life! I was stage 2 I am now taking proton
radiation, but not taking the pill. I get checked also every6 months, so I would think it would be
caught, but now I also want ultra sound with mammogram. I received a letter telling me all
was good, then one of the doctors spotted it, it did not show up on the mammogram.
I had a lumpectomy followed by 1 week of radiation twice a day for a total of 10 sessions. It's been one year & I've been experiencing breast swelling ever since.
Hi all. Next week I’ll be scheduling radiation treatments after my bilateral lumpectomies. The plan is for radiation treatments every day, Monday through Friday, for 4 weeks. (I have Stage 0.) Doesn’t that seem like a lot?
After that, I see my oncologist about AI meds. I will start the medication if recommended but if it really makes me sick and doesn’t get better over time. I’ll discontinue.
I had my operation in 2018. the chance of recurrence was 4% so I decided on no radiation and no medication. In April 2022 cancer came back I had my operation on Oct 19, 2022. still decided no radiation no medication. I am 80 have peace of mind not worry very active in good health
quality of life is very important to me. so you took the good decision in my opinion.
I had a lumpectomy 9 days ago for DCIS stage 0. No radiation was the recommendation by my surgeon. She is in favor of hormonal therapy and I will consult with an oncologist about that but I am not yet convinced that even that is necessary. My low-grade tumor was very small and was removed with very good margins.
Since radiation can only be used once, I will reserve that treatment in the event that a more serious cancer recurs in the future.
Thank you for your reply. With my team, everyone recommended radiation. I wasn’t happy.My radiation oncologist said the chance of recurrence was 30% over a 10-year period without radiation and 10% chance of recurrence over a 20-year period with radiation.
I’m 67, soon to be 68, and chose the “10% chance of recurrence over a 20-year period” option.
I’m just hoping it’s the right decision.
I am 70, and just finished radiation in December. It was really easy; to me the worst part was the position for my poor arthritic shoulder.
I was lucky, though, in that I had mine at Mayo Rochester and they were able to complete it in 5 days.
I only had 1 week! Just finished in December. It was called “Fast Forward” protocol and was done at Mayo Rochester. They integrated the whole breast radiation with the boost to the tumor bed, all at once.
My husband has Advanced Prostate Cancer, and with all of his treatments, I just did not have time for a more extended treatment program. I was very pleased with Mayo and my RO.