radiotherapy where left breast affected.

Hello! I opted for a lumpectomy followed by three to five weeks radiotherapy. As my next appointment with surgeon gets closer I find that I am getting concerned about risks to heart tissue when the left breast is treated. I have three friends who have successfully completed treatment, but their cancer has been on the right side. Can anyone offer words of encouragement? At the moment I am wondering whether I should have opted for a mastectomy.  

Hi Sasha

I’m sure some other ladies will be along shortly, who will know more about this than me, as mine was on the right side. I believe there is a special technique to it which involves holding your breath. There is no need to worry and you didn’t need to have a MX.

Sue xx

Hi Sasha

my lump was left side too, and had WLE and SNB followed by 3 weeks of rads. They don’t do the breath holding at my hospital but they assured me they would ensure the radiation didn’t touch the heart. Well, that was back in Feburary and I’m pleased to report my heart is as good as it ever was as far as i know!. I had the choice between WLE and mastectomy but as the lump was small - 1.4 cm - mastectomy seemed way too OTT and I’m glad I opted for the lesser option - apparently the outcome is the same whichever one you choose, so why lose a breast for nowt? Trust your rads team and I’m sure all will be well. xxxxxxx

Hi Sasha, 

Mine too was in the left boob, it was suggested I might have to do the breath holding thing, but didn’t in the end. Apparently, they will tell if it’s needed from the CT scan & planning session, I did check with them, but was told it wasn’t needed. My bc was only 7mms & in the upper outer part of the breast, I also had a WLE & was very happy with it all. 

It all should be fine!

ann x

I did the breath holding for my 20 sessions.  I was worried about it wasn’t difficult.


When you go for your planning meeting they can tell on the CT scan whether you will need to do breath hold, not everyone does, it depends how close your chest wall is to your heart I believe.



Hi Sasha,


I was concerned about this too, and asked about it at the radiotherapy planning appointment.  I was assured that they set it up so that it wouldn’t be necessary.  

My lump was left breast, lower inner quadrant.  It was 1.8mm but had disappeared by the end of chemotherapy.  I’m still getting 15 rads and 4 boosts though :slight_smile:

I was warned that it might cause slight scar tissue on my lung however - the consultant said it wouldn’t affect e.g. lung capacity, but that if I ever had a chest x-ray and scarring on lung was identified, that it would likely be from this.

Thank you all so much for your replies. Feel better about that now. Saw surgeon yesterday but have now been told I will need chemo before radiotherapy. So am now off to study those threads. Thanks again.xx