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Joined: Oct 04, 2011

Re-irradiation after Brachytherapy for breast cancer

Posted by @mchall6252, Oct 4, 2011

I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer last year…over age 60, clear sentinel nodes, 1.7 cm IDC, left breast at 2 o’clock. I underwent lumpectomy and brachytherapy (Mammosite) radiation in July 2010. Unfortunately I had a recurrence (or they missed something, who knows) in March 2011. I had bilateral mastectomy and they found a 4.7 cm lesion, 3 axilla lymph nodes were positive and 4 intramammary nodes showed up on the PET. I have completed DD chemo (AC/T) and am getting ready for reconstruction and radiation.

My first radiation oncologist wants to radiate my chest wall. But I’ve already had radiation in that area. Does brachytherapy preclude having more radiation in the same region? He also wants to do boosts everywhere. GIven my age, is there clinical evidence that boosts are effective for women over 60? I believe I found research articles that indicate the answer to be no. I do not believe this particular RO has a great deal of experience with someone in my position, which is a little frightening.

I am told this is a very unusual situation, so I am looking for some help from bigger cancer centers. I posed this same question to Johns Hopkins through their Q&A site and received an email response stating that the chest wall should not be re-irradiated.

I have an appointment with Dana Farber in Boston later this month.

Is there anyone out there who has had a similar experience and was successfully re-irradiated?

Thank you for any comments.


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