Radiotherapy delay

Due to an internal admin error. Radiotherapy has now been offered to me after 6 months post surgery for a lumpectomy. The Oncologist says it could be beneficial but there is no data to support it. Based on all I have read I am debating if it will cause more harm now than good. Could you direct me to what papers I should be reading to support what decision to make. Thank you :pray:

Hi pendragonfly,

Thank you for posting. It is understandable that you have questions about the benefit of receiving radiotherapy 6 months after your surgery and it is natural to feel anxious about this.

There is no formal NICE guidance on the best time to deliver radiotherapy after surgery but ideally it is given with 12 weeks of an operation. Some patients will require longer due to chemotherapy, wound healing or other individual circumstances. As your oncologist has said, there is little current data about giving radiotherapy after this period, however it is thought that there may still be a benefit to radiotherapy after 12 weeks. The aim of adjuvant radiotherapy is to reduce the risk of recurrence in the future and the risks of not having radiotherapy will depend on a number of factors including the type of cancer, the size, the grade and the stage of your cancer.

It may help to talk to your oncologist again about your concerns. Alternatively you can talk to your GP or treatment team if you feel a second opinion would be helpful to you in making a decision. They can refer you to an NHS team or a particular doctor. There are no guidelines about waiting times for a second opinion, which may lead to some further delay in starting treatment. Some people choose to pay for a second opinion from a private doctor.

We offer a range of free supportive services for anyone who has had a diagnosis of breast cancer which you may be interested in. They include face to face and online courses and events.

For more details about all of these services, please see the information on the link, or call our free helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. 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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