some questions about radiotherapy

Hi ladies,

Following my mastectomy on 31st October, I get my results this Thursday. I am triple positve and was given chemotherapy before surgery. This completely resolved my 5cm invasive tumour ( they could see 2-3mm of what they thought was scar tissue on the last scan). However due to the 9cm of dcis, mastectomy was the only option. I have been given differing opinions about the need for radiotherapy from three different breast cancer surgeons about the need for post operative radiotherapy. However I actually want it because I have checked the uk guidelines and I do fall into the category of needing it- see below- and I consented to mastectomy with delayed reconstruction because of the need for radiotherapy after surgery.

I am driving myself crazy , researching papers on the likelihood of cancer free lymph nodes from the SNB ( the three ultrasounds showed no evidence of cancer in the nodes and the initial fine needle aspiration was negative too).

 In the literature it states the risk of recurrence is higher if the tumour is 5cm or more, hence the need for radiotherapy. Is this the case if I have had the mastectomy though? Where would it come back? Does it mean recurrence in the same breast ( in residual breast tissue?). Would it be the same type ( triple positive)? I will have herceptin til next June, every three weeks, and medication too.

Also, the guidelines state that radiotherapy should start within 31 days ( in England). Is that likely? One of the surgeons said it would be ten weeks. I know I have to wait for healing, but I have had no post-operative complications, I have really good arm movements, little pain etc. ( Interestingly, on a different post, a lady was concerned about removing her dressings. I was told to remove my dressing after three days. I wasn’t given drains. No-one has telephoned to check if the wound is looking alright. I just got a phonecall the day after surgery, when I had the dressing in place, and I told the nurse I was really traumatised and felt mutilated, and I couldn’t bear to look at it. Luckily I am coming to terms with it now).

Sorry about the long post. I welcome any comments/ advice.

Jane xx



Hello and welcome to the forum, I am sure the ladies who have had mx will be along shortly to let you know about their experiences in relation to radiotherapy.


I had radiotherapy following surgery following WLE and SNB. From the date of the op to commencing rads was about 10 weeks, they do like to make sure that the wound has healed sufficiently.I was told by my surgeon and my oncologist that the rads was belts and braces as my bc was caught early and small, I trusted them and went ahead with it.


Helena xxx



Hi Jane

I’m not sure if I can help at all, but I’m happy to share my story in case it does. I hope you have had some reassuring results at your appointment today.

I was ER/PR positive, had chemo first, then mastectomy, immediate recon with implant and node clearance and finally radiotherapy. My radiotherapy started about 5 weeks after the date of my mastectomy.


It does seem that different teams have different views on what treatment is appropriate, but then again we are all individuals so I guess they tailor treatment for the individual. Your team will be happy to discuss the research you have done. You have good questions in your post - do ask your team for the answers. I believe it if comes back it can come back in either breast/nodes, so we have to remain vigilant even after a mastectomy.


If I can help further please do message.


Sending you hugs.

Evie xx