calling radiographers/radiologists


Are there any radiographers or radiologists out there who have been treated for breast cancer?

I am recently finished with radiotherapy, and am into the post-treatment blues phase which has been so well described on the forums. I am REALLY struggling emotionally with having to read scans for breast cancer ladies. I can’t avoid this situation, it is an integral part of my job.

If anyone has advice on how to cope, I would be eternally grateful.

No wonder you are struggling, that’s like being reminded hour after hour, day after day. I am not a radiographer so cannot help really, sorry. Hopefully someone will come along with relevant experience soon for you.


Hi there im not a radiographer and can understand this is emotionally draining for you and a constant reminder of what you have been through.The only thing i can think of is to try and turn it in to a positive thing like you are helping these ladies to have a future and enjoy the rest of their life because im sure you like me are eternally gratefull for those radiographers that have diagnosed and helped treat us and without them where would we be now Iam a nurse and i know having had this diagnosis i definately have more understanding of the emotions my patients go throughxx take care Julie

hi Oldgrof

have you spoken to Dotchas? she is a radiographer and frequently does mris on cancer patients which i think can be emotionally demanding at times.

i work closely with radiologists and radiographers in breast screening mammography, as a genetic breast care nurse, however i only went into this job after i was diagnosed and think it may have been a very different matter if i was working here at the time of diagnosis when it may have felt that i was getting my nose rubbed in it.

is it possible you could get redeployed to another area that isnt directly involved in cancer although i know as a radiologist thats often what your looking for in any area.

Take care

(thanks Lulu x)
Hi,I must have missed this thread at the time. I am a radiographer!
I have finished active treatment twice,I had a small recurrance a year after my mastectomy and recon.
I have therefore had two returns to work with all the emotional baggage that a cancer diagnosis brings. I found it very hard dealing with ill patients but especially BC patients. The ones I see usually have secondaries and come for follow-up scans.Others come for scans looking for cord compression or brain mets.
Its also hard having our knowledge as we can never be blissfully ignorant of the facts.
I have had counselling through my work which was very good.She told me that it IS OK to be emotionally drained by things at work.It was leaving me exhausted.But as time has gone on I realise that it is no longer quite so draining although some patients affect me more than others.
I try every day to make my patients visits to my department a bit less scary and this helps me a lot.
You are not alone,xxx

Hi Oldgrof

Sorry I am not a radiologist either but I work in clinical trials and my background is in oncology! I can relate to your feelings exactly. After my treatment I felt I needed a break from working within oncology. I found it very difficult to give patients the support they needed and found it very difficult to separate my own situation from theirs. I still work in the field of clinical research but I purposely moved myself out of patient contact and now I work for an organisation outside the NHS.

It’s a difficult one as on the one hand there is a feeling of wanting to carry on and not let BC dictate something else in our lives but on the other hand I think we shouldn’t beat ourselves up on how we feel.

You have done brilliantly getting this far, best of luck and big hugs xx

I’m also a radiographer working in ultrasound and CT so I can really relate to how you’re feeling. When I went back to work after Mx my first day back was a list of staging scans for patients mainly with BC :-S. That was hard as at the time my mum was also going through Tx for ovarian cancer. I can only agree with dotchas, lulu and eal69eal…you are bound to be affected at work after everything you’ve been through. I found myself feeling really sad for patients who were at the first stages of their diagnosis and had all their surgery and Tx to come and were so frightened at the prospect but I also found that I could speak to them from a position of real empathy having been through it. My managers were really good and eventually suggested that I avoid seeing any patients that were cancer related but in the end I decided to go with it and see how it went. The way I looked at it was that patients in that situation were very grateful for someone who could let them talk about their experiences and provide a bit of kindness and understanding(without actually telling them I had BC). It does get a bit easier. I’m not sure if this helps but just wanted to add my twopenneth!