Radiotherapy Feb 2020


I’m due to start radiotherapy in a couple of weeks and have been told they use the techique wereby you have to hold your breath. Can anyone please advise how difficult this is / how big a breath do you have to hold. Been practising and, don’t know whether it’s psychological as I am chlostrophobic, but I want to breathe normally as soon as I start holding my breath ??

Chelle ? please use the ask the nurse facility and the someone like me option and please do speak to your bc nurse. I think it’s if you’ve had bc in your left breast you have to hold your breath while rads are given. Have you had your tattoos yet that they use to line you up? It is just 3 little dots one in the middle of your chest and one on each side. It’s really ok on the machine, they look more scared than they are, I nick named mine bap zapper or something like that and saw it as something that was going to zap anything that might have survived the chemo so was happy to trot in there ? wear a seamless vest or soft t-shirt, no bras, get as much air to skin as possible and after your rads slap on your cream and carry one in handbag and slap it on, how many are you due to have? They will put you on the bed (felt a bit like a Sunbed to me) then they raise your legs onto a block and get your arms over your head and rest them on the slings, main thing is to relax, they can line you up against the green beams easier, then the machine I had just came down over me not right close and then did it’s turns over me while it zapped away was over really quick, it won’t make you claustrophobic, promise. Pace yourself, drink lots of water during rads it helped me with fatigue and also rest when your body tells you to, lot of us oct17 chemo lot had naps on rads ?let us know how you get on :heart:??:sparkles::sparkles:shi xx

Hi Chelle


If it helps, I had left breast radiotherapy and no one ever mentioned the need to hold my breath. I’m claustrophobic and I have to say I found radiotherapy a doddle once I’d massaged my scar to stretch enough. You just lie back, assume the position (honestly, my hi-tech team used a wooden ruler!!) and it takes maybe two minutes (I had it from 3 angles). Same thing every day. It’s the “every day” that is the wearing thing! Best of luck x

Hi, I finished my radiotherapy ten days ago and had to do the breath holding technique (DIBH) as mine too was left breast, I tried to practice prior to treatment starting but it was so random!!

You’ll be told how to do the breathing when you go to your appointment for the tattoos so that should help to settle your mind, when you are undergoing the session the team clearly tell you when to start holding and when to breath out, when they set you up for each session you’ll have a practice run too. Don’t worry about claustrophobia, you’re not in a machine - the machine is over the bench you lie on and moves over you, so you’re not enclosed, the team are in contact with you throughout the whole session - which even with  the breath holding is over within a few minutes!! Good Luck - you’ve got this!! xx