No side effects from radio

This is going to sound a bit odd but it’s worrying me so here goes.

I finished my 5 days of radiotherapy on Friday 6th October, so nearly 10 days ago, and so far I have literally no side effects.

When I had radiotherapy to the other breast in 2021 the skin was pink and felt hot by the end of the week, and by the week after I had some peeling and the breast itself was swollen and felt firmer. A week later the skin was darker to the extent you could see the line of where the radiotherapy stopped and the scars were much paler than they had been. Also, I needed to use the aloe vera gel regularly to cool and calm the skin. I am sure of the timings as I was keeping a journal.

I also suffered quite badly from fatigue.

This time I have none of these, the right breast looks and feels exactly the same as it did before.

The radiotherapy team said I should expect similar symptoms to last time in a similar time frame. So I wanted to ask if it is unusual to get absolutely no symptoms, especially if I did the previous time?

I know this sounds crackers but it’s making me wonder if somehow the machine didn’t do its job!

Did you have 5day rads last time too? If not, maybe that’s the difference, If so, maybe the process has been improved since then? I had the 5day rads last November. I had absolutely no skin breakdown although over the first month, the skin and especially the nipple went a tanned brown (this has now cleared up) and the fatigue kicked in after six weeks. So maybe a bit early for some of the expected SE to have kicked in?

I do get the worry though as I found rads really easy and almost can’t believe it was doing an important, effective job. I feel a bit guilty that I’ve had it easy (but don’t get me on to Letrozole!)

Hi, thanks for replying. Yep 5 days last time too and exactly the same dose according to my oncologist follow up letter.

Its very odd, maybe you’re right and its just too early…

Hello Lisa65

Thanks for posting.

It’s understandable to be concerned that you haven’t had the same side effects after receiving an identical radiotherapy regime recently to the one you had it in 2021.

Radiotherapy can continue to have effect after its stopped as @Tigress says. Or it might be that the integrity of your skin is different this time, perhaps there are things in the past 2 years that have helped improve the condition of your skin.

It’s natural to wonder if the radiotherapy machine worked in the same way as last time. It might help to know that radiotherapy equipment is strictly controlled and maintained, but you can talk to your treatment team to be reassured.

It might also help to post on the radiotherapy section of our forums.

If you do develop any skin reactions in the coming weeks, this information might be useful.

Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen to your concerns, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK - prefix 18001).

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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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