5 weeks of radiotherapy anyone and how many zaps?

Hi all

I’ve been following another thread here in the rads section about skin burning etc. and prevention.

I just wondered if anyone else has had 25 rads and if so how did your skin hold out?

It seems that even just after 3 some people have problems so I am wondering about the extra 2 weeks.

Also, when you have/had your rads, how many zaps did you have? I seem to be having 4 long ones - by that I mean the machine is buzzing away for a good few seconds rather than a short burst.


P xx

Hello peacock,

So have you already started rads?
I had 25+5 boosters, and my skin was okish until the last two weeks, and then it went downhill pretty badly, I ahd bad burns, especially at the nipple and on my snb scar, and the nipple peeled off completely, it was quite painful, but once I’d finished things got better in a 2-3 weeks.

I’m not sure what you mean by the zaps, when I was having it, the machine was buzzing for a good 40-50 seconds (I used to count at first), then they would reposition it and would do the same again…I hope it makes some sense?

Best of luck with it, when are you finished? I’m due for my firts checkup in a couple of weeks and I’m already dreading it…

chiara xx

I had 20 sessions, skin was ok up to number 15 then got very itchy and sore. Apparently these machines give a dose, so its not how many minutes you are on the machine, its how long the machine takes to give you the dose. The temperature in the room can affect the machine and how long it takes to give the dose. Also, I think the older the machine,the longer it takes to dose you. Keep on slapping the aqueous cream. I also got some hydrocortisone for the itch, then when treatment was over I could use Flamazine for the burn. Good luck
Angela x

Hi Peacock!

I had 5 weeks of rads (25 sessions) and used Aloe Vera Gel right from the first day. I put it on in the changing room after each session and again before I went to bed. For the last 2 weeks I used Emu Oil (bought on eBay) which comes from Australia and then imported into this country. Australian hospitals use it all the time for burns and you can just buy it in the chemists there. It was brilliant stuff - if you google it you can see photos of a woman with terrible burns after radiotherapy and how it healed her skin completely. I am very fair and with large boobs but my skin never got as bad as my onc thought it might.

Hi Peacock
I had 20 rads and it wasnt until the last couple that I started to have a reaction, which I thought was quite good as i have a very fair skin. The breast care nurse gave me some burn cream which really did help. Hope it goes well for you.

Hi Peacock

I had 20 RAD’s and 5 boosters > My skin was fine no blistering or burning just a little discolouration.

I just used aquaeous cream - guess I was one of the lucky ones.

Try not to worry everyone is different

Best Wishes
Kay x

Hi Peacock,

I had 20 plus 5 boosters and my skin was fine until the last few days. I used aqueous cream throughout and the radiologists at my hospital were adamant that nothing else should be used, other than Simple soap for washing. In fact they even asked us to bring in our aqueous cream to show them which one we were using - and that was despite the fact I’d told them that I bought mine at the hospital pharmacy!

My onc had offered me hydrocortisone cream during the 4th week as my skin was quite red and he thought it could break down, but silly me, I said I was ok and refused it! When the skin did finally give up the ghost, my onc was on leave and I had to rush off to my GP for the cream.

It was very sore indeed for a few days after I started the hydrocortisone, but overall was better within a week. I felt so well I’d been convinced my skin could cope with anything, so the moral of my story is to accept any creams you’re offered as you never know when you might need them!

Take care.

Carol x

Hi Peacock

I had 29 session (was supposed to have 30 but skin did not hold out). I found my skin heldout til about no 18 by the end I had an open wet wound ove my collarbone. Initially they gave me hydrogel which stung and did no good at all. at the end a nurse that had been at the hospital a VVVlong time said theres something else we can try - granuflex which worked wonders and the wound healed very quickly. In fact the wanted to see me after 3 weeks because they were concerned but it had already healed over. Now about 9 weeks later it just looks like patchy sunburn. the rest of the area was fine with E45 three times a day. Apparently the bit over my collarbone was an overlap area so I guess it was getting a bigger dose.
If you have any problems let them know and they will do what they can to help

Thanks to everyone for your help, I’m off to buy some almond oil tomorrow which is what they’ve told me to use so we’ll see. Already after only 5 the area where my bra goes is a bit sore, but then it was even before I started the rads, this particular bit just seems to be swollen, although its quite normal I am told by the dr.

I am so sad! Today I counted how long each zap was - so I’ll bore you all with the details if I may. 50 seconds zap 1, 30 seconds zap 2, 20 seconds zap 3 (after the machine moves around to the other side) and 50 seconds zap 4. I really must get out more!

Helen, my friend who is a nurse swears by Granuflex. She sent me some out after I had the biopsy and ended up with a continually weeping wound. I think I’ve still got some so I will keep that in mind if I should need it later on.

Happy weekend everyone, I’m looking forward to my 2 days off.


Hi again…:smiley: Just also posted on your other thread… I am getting 20 days worth… But they seem to be doing different places each time… I’m only on day 2 today but the machine was in a totally different place today for the third and fourth zaps - almost underneath me - to the side… I seem to remember your lymph node results were good - none with cancer cells…? Does that mean they are not zapping your armpit area…? I checked today the extent of the area they are going to do with me and she said from a few cms below my breast - right up to start of my neck plus the armpit lymph node area…

Hello rhapsody and all

Hope it is going well for everyone?

You are right Rhapsody my nodes were clear, on my first day they drew around my breast with a black pen it looked like a square letter box. I seem to have had the machine in the same place each day. The first 2 are to the left of the breast, for the second 2 the machine moves around and they told me its zapping from under but on the side. It’s weird isn’t it how they work it all out. I don’t think my armpit is getting zapped - my tatoos are around the scar area - what are the tatoos for? It sounds like your area might be a bit more extensive. I’m allowed to wear my necklace as long as its tucked to the back of my neck, so is that any indication?

Anyway, good luck with it all, I’m on week 3 now and it hasn’t been to bad so far, although today they told me not to wear a bra because the skin of my scar has been pulled very tight to close it, they don’t want anything rubbing and it is getting quite red now.

P xx

Hi thought I would just ask if any one who has had a lot of Rads (including the armpit ) has had any problems afterwards - once the burns and skin have healed. The movement in my arm is now considerably restricted and the muscle accross my chest feels as though i have over done weight training - plus sharp spikey pain too. The restriction started just after New Year and has got increasingly worse. My BCN has sorted out physio and a referral to the lympho clinic (just in case)and a referral for pain relief. She said given the amount of rads I had (29 sessions ) she is not surprised - pity they didn’t warn me of such severe reactions at the time!!! But what they don’t seem to have any comment on is how long it will last for - does any one know? The only comment she made was it is likely to get worse before it gets better (its been doing that since NewYear)
Kind Regards

I was so blessed only slight ithcing after 3 weeks a little blistering under boob at 4 weeks very tired finished treatment 1 week ago still a little tired but breast is nearly back to normal