To have rads or not to have rads???? any help???

Calling all those who have an opinion on rads I know some of you know my story but here is a potted history…34 yrs old DX right side BC had MX/recon/chemo/tamoxifen & zoladex…No node involvement then had chemo as tumor largish at 7cm? annual mammos since, no problems. decided to not have rads as held them as trump card incase of local recurrence and as yet that is how it has been,… fast forward 15 years ( in those years I have married and had 2 children now just 8 and nearly 10) clear mammo june 2010 but by dec 2010 felt thickening went to gp for reassurance,… upshot new primary other side!!! so dx jan 2011 had WLE march 2011, SNB apri 2011, they found large area of DCIS + invasive + extensive LVI = 4 infected nodes! so I had 3 FEC + 3 TAX through summer and 5 weeks ago had MX/recon/ node clearance and nipple recon to both sides!! Phew!!! last week went to see surgeon who did mx and histology report showed no more cancer in lymph nodes…good… there was more invasive in breast so glad I had MX and that brings me to today and RADS??? I had mx in different hospital as imm recon could not be offered where I am now,( i have moved 250 miles away from original treatment center in the interim years so went back to hosp where I was first treated for MX) the surgeon in that hosp said I would not ‘fit the nec criteria’ for rads if I was seeing onc at that hospital? I have yet to see onc in local hosp? I have a feeling based on past disscussions that he will reccomend Rads? don’t you hate it when you have different proffesional opinions when they dissagree!!! HELP anyone know of or had similar??? Love to all Jeanette XX

Yee Gods you have been through it Jeanette. I am one of those who has been very lucky, and am about to start just 3 weeks of RADS, so I really talk from an ‘outsider’ position. Just reading what you have written, I think that I would go the whole hog, why miss out on anything that could just possibly be beneficial?
Hope you make the right choice anyway and GOOD LUCK to you xxxx

Jeanette I would say if they offer it go for it… But it isn’t usually offered to those having an mx unless it’s in th margins or close to chest wall or if tumour was a larger size… You may want to do the same as last time and keep it up your sleeve incase of local recurrence.

Love and hugs xxxx

Hi Jeanette

I had my mx and recon in Suffolk (near my sis) and then chemo back at home in Shropshire.

I was hoping to escape rads because of the recon (nodes all clear), but my tumour was quite large and near the chest wall (although a small clear margin) and so the onc here recommended rads. I double checked to see what they would have said in Suffolk. They would also have done the rads - but I had already decided to have them even if they disagreed.

I knew that if I didn’t have them and then I had a recurrance, I’d kick myself for ever more.

Good luck
PS. I’m back at work now near Carden, so we must meet up for that coffee.

Hi Jeanette I also had rads after Mx for a large tumour, I toyed with the idea of keeping it for reserve, but the onco said why wait for a recurrence, like DJ I would have kicked myself. I had rather treat the chest area than go chasing after rogue cells that got somewhere round my body. I already took a gamble by not doing tamoxifen as I had tried it and we really didn’t get on, so thought I had better do the rads at least and I don’t regret it. I did ask the onco if it was really necessary, he called up the boss at his old hospital before he was made up to consultant here, and the other guy agreed I should be offered rads, so fair play to them.
But, I had not been offered chemo, and also I was not up for recon, and those two factors could make a difference for your choice. You made a good call last time, and are still here 15 years later with a lot to live for. Good luck in your decisions.

YES YES YES to rads. I had mx, chemo, rads (25 sessions) and herceptin. Radiotherapy is very good at killing off localised cancer cells that may be left after other treatment.

MacMillans are doing a petition at the moment to raise the awareness of the effectiveness of radiotherapy and also to enable all cancer patient to have access to it. Apparantly some health authorities do not fund radiotherapy.

I wanted to chuck everything at the cancer, there are no guarantees in life but I wanted to give it everything and not look back later and think “what if”.


It’s all very complicated isn’t it?, there are so many different types of bc and we all have different experiences of advised treatment
I am waiting for a date for my 5 weeks of RADS to start can’t come soon enough I will also have to take tamoxifen for 5 years. The Oncologist said to me that RADS is ‘belt and braces’ just to ensure that if there are any cells out there that are causing mischief they will be destroyed. Then she said the real treatment is tamoxifen, so I asked do I need RADS if the tablets will do the job, her answer was a very quick YES, so I am trusting her as a professional to have made the correct decision for me.
It really is so confusing at times but brilliant that we have this site to be able to hear everyones experiences

Julita hope my RADS come down from 5 to 3 like yours have and before christmas would be a bonus, have you got a date for yours to start yet?

Thanks all for you comments, I haven’t been on the site this last week as been very low I am struggling to get movement in my arm and have had odd pain and tightening in my chest??? I had seen GP last week who said it was most likely to be muscular after all the surgery and the breathing /tightening could be anxiety as it doesn’t seem to happen when I am not thinking about It ??? I now have a swelling in my ankles so going to GP tomorrow …Oh when will I start to feel better …it’s been a year now… I am fed up and cant stop crying and moaning and worrying… I am still waiting for appt with Onc I have to take TAM crumbs they are SO SLOW Here that is NOT helping either!!! Help how can I keep calm!!!

I hate rads with vengance, but if I had to, i’d do it again.

Hi J

I am sorry to read that you are having such a tough time, if you feel it would help to speak to one of our helpliners please call for further support on 0808 800 6000, the lines are open 9-5 weekdays and 9-2 Sat.

Take care

Hi Jeannete

i have to agree with Marian101 and say ‘go with it’. I, too, have had an MX with reconstruction, chemo, rads (5 down and 10 more to go) and herceptin. I have been told that the treatment I have been offered is ‘belt and braces’ and my insurance policy against a re-occurance.

I was offered trials for my rads because, apparently of every 10 women undergoing it, 9 are found not to need it. However, I decided that as I was the ‘1 in 8’ diagnosed in the first place, how could I be sure that I wouldn’t be the ‘1 in 10’ who would need the rads? I am taking everything I am offered as I am going to beat this.

So, just like Marian101, I say YES, YES, YES to rads too!


jeanette sending a big squashy scottish hug your way.

your gp can prescribe the tamoxifen if you want to get its started bot another week or two wont make a big difference if you… call up oncs sec and chase up your appt… hope your other symptoms lessen when you get it all resolved… im not surprised you are feeling like that though it is a very anxious time xxx

Thanks Lulu …and all of you, It’s not all about me!?? Lulu thanks for the scottish hug made me feel closer to my or should I say our 'hero’XXXX