Long term effects of radiotherapy

Hi Ladies,


Looking for some feedback from ladies who received rads who have had side effects years later e.g. Fibrosis, change in skin texture or hardening or shrinking of breast. BCN nurse assures me rad’s these days not as harmful as in past and breathing techniques protect heart…But what about lungs?


Trying to decide between having rad’s after WLE or mastectomy as concerns about both.


Any insight would be appreciated.

Hi Leonie,

Probably not much help with your question, but I had rads following wle 3 years ago & haven’t had any long term side effects that I am aware of. After the initial redness & some soreness, my boob looked & felt pretty much as it usually did a few weeks after treatment was completed. 

ann x


I posted this same question a few days ago!  (can you find my other posts I wonder?)

To cut to the chase, I have hauled in a few contacts (I’m a Dr), and it seems the ‘view’ now is that radioRx is felt to have minimal side effects, that, really, there is no point risking the major surgery of mastectomy.  this has immensely reassured me, and I think I am now much happier proceeding down this route: but, obviously, it is so personal (I keep staring at my boobs in the mirror wondering if I could stomach a mastectomy…).

You might find these articles helpful: cancernetwork.com/oncology-journal/decision-making-surgical-management-invasive-breast-cancer-part-1 (this is quite medical and detailed, so perhaps consider if you want to read this??). This link is a decision making tool (tbh it didn’t tell me anything new, but it is useful as a starting point at least): researchgate.net/figure/Option-Grid-decision-aid-Breast-cancer-surgery_fig1_310666496 

I have a friend who had 5 days a week for  4 weeks about 8 years ago, she found her breast did reduce in size, so she has one noticeable smaller than the other.  I’ve found that after lumpectomy and not had radiotherapy yet.


Also she found she didn’t get tired until the end of treatment and that was travelling 1 hour 30 mins each way for each session, she is in her early 70s now.  She has said the breast is still tender to this day.  Have to say my breast is still tender from the surgery coming up 4 weeks ago, I guess its early day yet for me.


I am also interested in the risk to lungs as I already have lung damage, I’m not sure what the potential percentage is of getting lung problems after treatment, or down the line.

Sadly I have seen the consulting radiologist today who assured me I would definitely have lung damage from the radiotherapy 1cm minimum from top to bottom of lung.  Needs to say I am not happy as I’ve already got damaged lungs.


I said no to chemo because of this risk and now am having to consider saying no to my only other treatment option.  feeling very upset.

Had chemo and radio post lumpectomy 5 years ago. Now on tamoxifen. Since then have had shortness of breath and become breathless lying on affected side. Recent xray shoed hyperinflation of lungs consisant with copd though gp thinks is related to radiotherapy. Bit fed up as googled pulmonary fibrosis and its grim. Am sure ill feel better in my head next week but atm so fed up with cancer and treatment x

I am four years out from radiation and lumpectomy with chemo. Just recently have developed fibrous area at site of surgical scar and radiation. It is sore as well. Worth mentioning is that post lumpectomy I had also had a severe surgical site infection. Still wouldn’t change my decisions. My appearance is different. Left breast is smaller but that is not important to me. My tumor was quite large but there was no metastasis to nodes.