DCIS (Intermediate grade) and Radiotherapy

I had surgery for intermediate grad DCIS mid-July;  result was “successful” and I am due to attend planning meeting next week for radiotherapy at Royal Marsden Sutton

Q1. Most threads seems to indicate taking of drugs, which no-one to date has mentioned to me.   Why are some ladies given drugs but not others?

Q2. I have been told 15 radiotherapy sessions for intermediate DCIS.  Is this number normal?

Q3  How tired do you get?  Currently I have no trouble sleeping right through the night plus quick naps some afternoons, so insomnia is not a problem for me.

Q1 I don’t know the answer to this except that every one is an individual and every ‘lump’ is unique so the treatment isn’t one size fits all.


Q2 I had 15 sessions and, yes, it is a very common number although some people have more.


Q3 I wasn’t aware of being extra tired, but I am retired so didn’t have to go back to work or look after children. In fact, we (my husband and I) made each visit for treatment an ‘outing’ day and did something different enroute or on the way home - depending on the time of my appointment. We sometimes visited a park/lake on the way home; had a coffee enroute; lunch on the way back; I even fitted in a shopping trip; and a visit to a plant nursery. My hospital was 40 miles from home so we were passing different towns/villages enroute and tried to vary our journey to make more of an ‘outing’ of it.


I hope this helps to reassure you.

Hi Judith47.  I had high grade and intermediate grade DCIS and had two WLE operations in April and May.  I have just started 25 sessions of radiotherapy.  I have not been given any drugs and they haven’t been mentioned to me so I don’t anticipate having to take any.  I have completed the first week of Rads and don’t feel any more tired than usual.  However, since the operations, I have always felt quite tired and sleep for an hour in the afternoon (during my lunchbreak when I’m at work) and rarely make it past 9 pm in the evening.  Good luck with it all. x

 Hello Judith


I had mixed grade DCIS and my treatment was surgery followed by 15 sessions of radiotherapy. I am premenopausal and there was some discussion about me taking tamoxifen, but the risks outweighed the benefits for me.


The number of radiotherapy sessions depends a lot on the protocol used at your hospital. Some use the newer 15 sessions with total 40gy of radiation whilst others still use the older protocol of 25 sessions with total  50gy of radiation. Apparently the newer protocol is just as effective and produces similar levels of side effects. 


I did find I got tired, though I think this was more to do with the extra driving back and forth everyday (over 35-40mins each way)


Hope this helps.

Best wishes


Hi Judith I have just finished rads at Sutton :cathappy: .

In answer to your questions:

Q1, Drugs are offered to women that have cancer which is hormone sensitve (ER+). You should have been told whether your is or not by your consultant, if not just call the breast care nurse who can tell you. Mine was strongly ER positive (8/8) so am on tamoxifen. It was also strongly HER2 + which should result in chemo and herceptin but the mass was also small and low grade invasive so, for me, the side effects of having Herceptin outweigh the benefits. I don’t think DCIS is tested for HER2. If your cancer is not hormone sensitive you will not be on any adjuvent medication.

Q2, Yes 15 sessions is normal. The Marsden are very keen not to overtreat you.

Q3,  Tiredness depends on you but gets worse as you go through the treatment. I was fine until about halfway though. Yesterday was my last session, I came home and fell asleep for the entire afternoon! Lots of people have no effects from radiotherapy. 


Assuming you will drive, you will be pleased to know that you get a car park pass for the duration of your treatment. I could have bought a new boobs for the amount I have spent parking there!


Good luck

Dear Judith,

It seems that the Royal Marsden and the Christie hospital have the same protocol of 15 sessions. They also both test for hormone receptors and offer tamoxifen based on clinical need. 

Both these hospitals are world renowned and offer some of the best treatments available in the UK.


It is confusing that other hospital offer slightly different treatments, but rest assured your treatment will be based on the latest and best research available.





Morning all…picked this up in error,as usually on the surgery site.However,I have had DCIS  high grade,twice, and neither time did I have any radiotherapy,just radical mastectomies…gentle hugs.