radiotherapy with a breast implant.

Hi ladies. I wonder if anyone can give me some advice. In 2002 I had a tumor removed followed by rads. In 2004 a mastectomy, 2005 a recurrence, 2007 another recurrence and again in April 2010. Have done chemo and herceptin as tumor is HER2 positive. The problem now is what further treatment to do. Am happy to do herceptin but I was also sent to the radiotherapist who has suggestd doing more rads. Not keen though as I’ve got a breast implant and am worried that it could be damaged. Has anyone done radiotherapy with a breast implant? I would be really grateful for your advice. With love. Elisa

hi elisa sorry to hear you have had a further recurrence.

i dunno if Dot (dotchas) has seen this as she had a recurrence (well left over cancer cells) in her reconstructed breast and had radiotherapy… it was given at a lower dose over a longer duration i think she was told there could be damage to the implant but there doesnt appear to be at the moment… but some people have damage to the implant eg leakage or capsulation without having rads.

im sure dot can tell you more info.


Hi Elisa,
As Lulu says,I have had rads after a mastectomy and recon with implants.I was very worried about having them as I had gone through so much to retain my breast shape.In fact I considered refusing them,but I soon came to the conclusion that I better chuck everything I am offered at this.My surgeon told me he had just seen a lady in clinic that day who had rads to both breasts but 20years apart.He said you could tell she had rads on the 20years side but not on the new side.I think it shows that some of the fears about damage is based on out of date rads techniques.
My Onc recommended a 5 week course rather than the normal 3 week course.It meant I got the same total dose but just less each day over a longer period of time.
I finished rads at the end of October 2009 and have not noticed any difference at all.
There has also been some recent research that rads following a mastectomy may well benefit your prognosis.Maybe if I had had it after my original surgery in 2008 then the missed BC cells would have been blasted!
It is interesting that you too have had recurrances/“new lumps” when some surgeons still insist that all breast tissue is removed at Mx ,however you and I know otherwise!
Good luck whatever you decide.
Love n hugs

Hi Dot

Thank you so much for your reply and Lulu’s as well. It really does help to talk to others who have been through the same experience. The radiotherapist did say that the skin could become darker, form cracks and there could be some contraction although I would be monitored closely. My recurrences have literally been in a line one after the other so they are obviously leaving too fine a margin around the nodules when they remove them. I have even been tempted to have the implant out completely. Anyway I’m seeing the radiotherapist Friday so I’ll ask him a few more questions. Thanks again and all the best to you ladies as well.
Love Elisa xx


can anyone help with my decission/

i had a total mysectomy and had nodes taken which were clear.
I do not want radiotherapy but just hormonal.Is this wise where can i get information from

Thank you

hi jkc

they dont always offer rads after mastectomy and until recently it wasnt an option as mastectomy alone was equally as effective as lumpectomy plus rads.

however now in some cases they will do mastectomy plus rads as that has been found tp be even more effective than mastectomy alone.

this research article only seems to rate it as beneficial if you have higher risk of recurrence eg over 4 nodes affected, larger than 5cm or if they didnt get clear margins…

maybe you can ask your onc what evidence he is basing his recommendations on.

Lulu x

Hello again ladies. I saw the radiotherapist today and we are going for the rads. They seem to think the implant will be OK. Another thing I was wondering about is the time lapse between surgery and rads. I was told the limit is 90 days but have been doing some research and it seems that it is more beneficial to start within 6 weeks of surgery. As I am right at the limit (operated on 7 April) I am rather worried that the rads might be in vain. Have you ladies any information or thoughts on this? Thanks again. Elisa

i had chemo before rads so was 8 months after surgery and 7 weeks after my final chemo before rads so doubt youd have missed the boat… im sure they wouldnt give them to you if they didnt think it would be effective… there were some women on here who were only getting rads 12 weeks after surgery.


I had it the other way round, rads and then 5 years later I had an implant. My skin would not accept it and I had lots of trouble had it redone but to no avail. It was 25 years ago I had my first rads apparently they were much harsher then. As it turned out I had a recurrence and had to have mastectomy 20 years later so I could have saved myself all the trouble, have had reconstruction and with all the badly damaged skin removed its been fine.

Good luck.