Radiotherapy after breast lump removal

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Good morning, and thank you for allowing me to join this forum.

I am wanting some information on radiotherapy after breast lump removal of behalf of my Mum who is 79 yes old.

She had the lump removed in February this year and has been offered 5 sessions of radiotherapy over two weeks.  

She firstly said she would have the therapy but now she is so upset and confused about whether she should have it   My Dad and I have respected her decision, but she has so many questions particularly about side effects after the therapy. She is fit and healthy otherwise.

I would be so grateful if anyone who has been through this would be willing to share their experience of going through this.

Thank you in advance.


  • Hello  - A warm welcome to the online Community.

    The Community is divided up into forums or chat rooms which are Cancer specific. I would advise you with your Mum's questions to join the Breast cancer forum . To do this just click on the link I have provided, this will take you there. You then need to click on "join" on the black banner at the bottom of the page. You can then introduce yourself and mum by clicking on the "+ create new post" button and either copy and paste or repost your questions.

    Your post will then be seen by Community Members on the same or similar journey.

    I hope this helps - If I can do anything else for you please let me know.

    Best wishes - Brian.

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  • Hi  , I’m in the Breast Cancer group but haven’t seen your post there so thought I’d reply here. Do still post your question there though as it’s a really active group and I’m sure you’ll get plenty of responses. Sorry to hear that your mum has been diagnosed with cancer and is having a dilemma re whether to have radiotherapy or not. Her concerns are very understandable, and the possible side effects worried me, too. I’m happy to share my experiences but please bear in mind that they are just that - my individual experiences and not necessarily typical.

    I had my lump removed over 5 years ago then had radiotherapy plus hormone therapy (which I’m still on). I was 59 when diagnosed. I’m confident that, if I am faced with similar decisions in the future, I’d make the same choices. But I won’t pretend that I’ve had no side effects. The hormone therapy comes with its own little package of effects. But I’ll stick to the radiotherapy! I had 3 weeks of it, which was standard then. I believe it’s a lower daily dose than the 1 week schedule, but more radiation in total. The treatment was a faff but not painful in itself. During the 3 weeks I developed reddening, particularly under my breast, and there was some concern over possible skin breakdown but that didn’t happen. It did feel hot towards the end, a bit like sunburn. But nothing terrible and I was lucky to be signed off work. I did find myself tired but it helped to walk every day after I got home, even if it was in the dark! After the 3  weeks were finished, I developed some blistery type scales which eventually fell off themselves without any treatment (apart from loads of moisturising, which is recommended). My nipple suffered and was painful for many weeks but did resolve and has been fine since, although left inverted, probably from the surgery. I developed mild breast lympheodema which is a less well known effect, and is annoying but thankfully very manageable in my case. I took up Nordic walking on the recommendation of the lympheodema nurse and still love it! I think that’s it for the radiotherapy. I’m sure you will know of other possible side effects; certainly I was given a booklet outlining the main ones so I’m assuming your mums been given that information. It’s undoubtedly scary and in the end it’s very much an individual decision, whether to go ahead. Love and hugs, HFxx

    HappyFeet1 xx
    Don’t be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts. – Hopi