Brachytherapy and Breast cancer and private cost of surgery

Hello my Distinguished Bust Buddies,

Recently, life threw a déjà vu curveball my way, gifting me with a recurrent unwelcome guest in the same breast where I had my inaugural tryst with cancer in 2006. So naturally, I have a sprinkle of questions for the wise collective:

Upon discussing potential treatments, my onco-surgeon quickly vetoed the idea of a rerun with rads. Undeterred, I chatted with the nurses at St Bartholomew’s, wondering if they played the ‘brachytherapy’ card for BC, especially since the success rate seems to be painted in rosy hues. To my bemusement, the term seemed like Martian to her! After a brief Brachytherapy 101, she hinted it goes by another name in these parts. But, for the life of me, I can’t find its elusive alias in the medical chronicles. Has anyone here waltzed with this treatment?

Furthermore, I’ve been twiddling my thumbs since the 17th of August, awaiting an ultrasound slated for the 4th of September. Now, I’m no calendar expert, but that span feels rather prolonged for someone in my shoes, wouldn’t you say? My memories of the timeline for my first diagnosis are a tad foggy, but I’m pretty certain an MRI made an appearance. Also, despite channeling my inner Oliver Twist and asking for an MRI, the powers-that-be seem nonplussed. Is this leisurely pace the British ‘norm’?

Lastly, just pondering aloud here: how hefty would the tab be for a swanky private mastectomy, reconstruction, and the pièce de résistance – a nipple tattoo? I might not have a treasure chest (pun intended), but could a stint in risqué ventures be my ticket to finance this?

From the bottom of my breast

A big thank!


I’m pretty sure it’s called brachytherapy everywhere !! I don’t think it’s often used with breast cancer within the NHS more usual with womb ,cervical and prostate cancer but I’ve certainly seen posts about it on the forum before . If you put it into the search box should bring up previous posts that mentioned it . You could also run it past the nurses on the forum ?
Ask our Nurses your questions


Cyberknife could possibly be another description ?


Hello happynipple

First i want to say, how eloquently you write, I love it made me smile as you have so much positivity. I am so sorry you have had a recurrence.
We call it iirradiation Brachytheraphy, the success rate seems very good. I live in Australia but i do believe Brachytheraphy is world renown name for it.
Our waiting time for a scan of any sort normally is within 21 days. I think the waiting times cause so much anxiety. Not long now till Monday, I pray everything goes well for you.
I am awaiting to go on another trial again, unfortunately i have stage 4, mets to my bones and liver. My first trial showed progression i was only on it 3 cycles in-between an oophorectomy and now just completed 5 days of high dose radiotherapy for pallative pain relief on my breast tumour. They seem to not do surgery for stage 4 unless its urgent. I was diagnosed last September 1st de nova at 49.
I have been without other treatments for 25 days now apart radiotherapy so scary to wait, so long to get on another treatment that might help my pik3ca mutation.
I think if you can afford it private would be the way to go. It is wrong, but the NHS is like our medicare, alot of people waiting. I will be praying for you sister :pray: let us know how you go 🩷

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Love your writing style too! You asked about private costs. Although insurance covered my left side mastectomy in Florida in September 2022, the gross amount submitted to insurance for the surgery, all support activities and one day hospital stay was $99k. I did not opt for reconstruction. Best of luck to you.

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