*** APRIL - AUGUST 2022 BREAST CANCER RADIOTHERAPY **

We've created a new thread for radiotherapy discussions. If you're looking for earlier discussions, you can find:

  • You can also find useful radiotherapy tips shared by members in an older thread here.

Please do let us know if you have any other threads you think would be useful to link here.

Edit: We've extended this thread to August 2022. 

  • Thank you for this Thumbsupi am waiting to hear when I begin my Radiotherapy only had last chemo last Friday. Have phone consultation with oncologist on Thursday so may know more. Quite anxious as had a lot of side effects fiFingers crosseders crossed may be an easier journeyFingers crossedx janemb

  • Hi Jane.  I think/hope you will find RT much easier than chemo.  I'm on week four of RT right now.  I had the three "standard" weeks and am now having a further 5 sessions of booster treatments as they know there are still cancer cells deep in, attached to my muscle.    So far the skin in the area has gone quite pink, like with sunburn.  I've been applying moisturiser twice a day and on the whole it's done a good job.  Over the weekend it started getting very red and itchy in the crease under my breast.  I showed them on Monday and they've given me a tube of Flamigel RT.  It certainly helps.  I've tried keeping my bra off but of course it just means that my unsupported breast still rubs in this area.  Today I'm like Superman and wearing a bra outside of a cotton vest in the hope of stopping too much rubbing.  I'm seeing the RT Breast Consultant tomorrow and she will assess me further and can give me a prescription for more of the gel so I can carry on using it.

    Other side effects?  None really.  I was pretty tired this morning but Monday and yesterday mornings I had hospital appointments for blood test and other regular treatment on top of going to RT in the afternoons at a different hospital. So two quite arduous days.  

    I asked about tiredness when I was given my pre-treatment chat and told that it's more to do with the ordeal of having the treatment rather than the treatment itself.  So if you are able to rest plenty and get good sleep you should be fine.

    Best wishes, Wendy

  • Thank you Wendy. X That is reassuring to know will see how it goes Fingers crossedi speak with oncologist on the phone tomorrow so may know when RT begins etc. Take care you sound very positive which is how I try to be but have moments of anxiety. A long journey but so hope the Fingers crossedworst part is behind me Fingers crossedHeart

  • As mentioned in my response to Janemb, I was quite sore under my breast.  After trying the Flamigel, there wasn't really any improvement and I showed the consultant yesterday and she saw that the skin was now broken so she has given me another ointment, Flaminal Hydro, together with some dressings to put over it.  I used this last night and it made it a lot more comfortable so I got a good night's sleep.  

    Only two RT treatments left Grinning

  • I had a grade 1 cancer in one breast which has been removed by lumpectomy. .  I have been offered radiotherapy but I'm unsure because of the risk of later cancers and of reduced movement in the arm/shoulder.  Has anyone in this forum had experience of the longer term side effects?

  • Hi

    i was a radiotherapy radiographer and also had treatment myself.

    You are highly unlikely to suffer any issues with arm movement unless you are having nodes treated as the radiotherapy is directed at the breast and chest wall.The machine is angled so the beams skim across the chest rather than straight down through the shoulder.

    I had a grade 1 tumour and I opted for the radiotherapy as I felt I wanted to be sure of local control.I only had part of my breast treated where the initial tumour was as opposed to the whole breast. It’s worth asking if this is suitable for you but bear in mind radiotherapy treatment decisions are based on your histology , age and size of tumour.

    best wishes 

  • That's really helpful - thank you. I will ask the consultant whether he was planning to treat the whole breast or just the local area. I have a feeling he said the whole breast.

    My tumour was 7mm and I'm 63. I've had a lot of xrays this year - my hip, shoulder, hand , bone density scan and lots of enhanced mammograms because there were lots of growths which turned out to be benign.  What do you think about the secondary cancer risk several years later?

    Thank you!

  • Modern X-ray equipment gives much smaller amounts of  radiation than used to be given and equipment is regularly tested to make sure exposures are accurate so I wouldn’t be concerned about the X-rays you have had.

    The risk of secondary malignancies is low but obviously you can discuss this with your oncologist. 
    Have you discussed the benefits and risks with you oncologist as they have to go through this with you as part of obtaining informed consent.

    My tumour was 4 mm with no nodes but my reasoning was that if I had the RT I had the option to ditch the letrazole if I found I couldn’t cope with it in the future.

    It sounds as if you are eligible for the 5 treatment radiotherapy option which gives a lower overall dose than the 15 treatment option and usually less side effects.

  • .Hi Windysister, Thank you for posting all that information, very useful. I too am about to start radiotherapy on 25th and you do worry about the unknown. Your post has made me feel quite a bit better. I hope you manage to get the irritation under control.

  • Very useful information Xraygirl. It is good to hear this from someone who has some inside knowledge of how it all works, as well as having experienced it herself.