I found out yesterday I need to have radiotherapy as well after they did my bilateral mastectomy and lymph node clearance. The thought of radiotherapy really scares me. I’ve read side effects on breast cancer now and cancer research but just wondering from people who have had radiotherapy what you wish you knew before you had it, what to expect any advice etc. 


Hi there Graceyp -

I had daily radiotherapy for 15 days, post mastectomy back in 2017.  Obviously, can only speak of my personal experience… 

I had 15 daily sessions.  Unfortuately, as the Easter hols fell in the middle of my course, this was spread out over 4 weeks.  I had a half hour drive to the hospital followed by approx 10 mins in total on the radiothereapy bed - so the most arduous part of each day was the trip there and back! 

The first appointment was all about alignment and making small marks to enusre that I was in the exact same position each time.  The actual process was painless.  I did find my radiated area got a bit red - as though I’d sat in the sunshine too long, but all very easy to deal with.  Also, I was quite weary - but this could be more to do with the commute than the treatment, who knows?

I’m a few years on now and can honestly, say that I’ve suffered no ill effects from the radiotherapy, just the reassurance that the NHS have done a fab and thorough job at ridding me of breast cancer.


I had 15 radiation sessions plus 5 boosts.  My skin turned very red after 4 weeks, and then it turned dark and started to peel.  It also hurt a bit (like a sunburnt).  I was asked to use a saline compress to help with the redness.  I experienced tightness to my operated arm after about a week into radiation and the tight feeling intensified as I received more radiation.  I have to do exercises everyday to try to ease the tightness.   My radiation finished on March 8 and as of today, I still tightness.  Hope this helps.