Undecided whether I should have rads or not

Iv been recommended I need rads to my chest wall and collar bone. Due to tumour size and lymph involvement. However I’m really scared of the side effects of the treatment and wondering if I actually need as Iv had a mascestomy with lymph clearance. Iv had 4xfec and 11and abit taxol. I had really bad allergic reaction to my last taxol during influsioN. the rads Iv been told is a insurance to assure all the cancer has gone. Im very confused and fed up with having treatment. I was five monthspostnatal when I was diagnosed. So I’m really resenting how much time the treatment has taken me away from my daughter. My cancers er+ and her -

I am sorry you are so fed up with treatment I know how you feel it does seem never ending. BUT you are now at the last hurdle and I am sure they would not reccommend radiotherapy if they didn’t feel it would benefit you. I had chemo then rads and the rads are a walk in the park compared to the chemo. The only real gripe I would have about them is that you have to go every day to the hospital. The only side effects I had was my boob looked like I had over done it in the sun at the end but it never gave me too many problems. You really need to sidcuss with your onc maybe see if you can make an appt to see him/her.
Whatever you decide you need to make sure it is the right decision for you, and I wish you good luck with whatever you do decide


Hi. Congratulations on having a baby daughter, I am sure she is giving you so much stregnth and pleasure. I had rads, 6 weeks worth, and it was sooooo much easier that chemo. What I would say is that my PET scan 3 months after rads finished showed NO cancer cells in my chest area. That could be because they were all scooped up when I had my lumpectomy or that the rads blasted them, who knows… But …for me it was a no brainer. I know exactly how you feel and only you can make the decision…not an easy one I know. Good luck.xxxxx

if all your nodes are gone you wont need radiotherapy uinder your arm pit!
I had rads for the chest wall and collar bone and found that it was my collar bone that came off worst…i think cos there isnt much flesh over the bone!
Otherwise as everyone says the main hassle is just having to go every day (especially if the hospital is over an hour away even on a fast motorway) cos the actual rads take about 6 minutes!
Good luck from me too

I had rads to my breast and the nodes in my neck. Although they didn’t say, I think there is a risk that some of the cancer can be trying to make a break for it through those nodes. I had the swollen ones in my armput removed (some of which had cnacer in them) and they didn’t zap there. I was told that it was like a disinfectant - just cleaning up anything left behind.
As others say, Rads is much easier for most people than chemo. My skin reacted very well to it and I just have a very strange tan-line between where my breast and neck were done. My skin is slightly tender, but I am fine as long as I only wear a bra occassionally.
Rads will be tougher for you if you either have to travel quite a distance for treatment or (from what I have seen) if you are fair-skinned/burn easily in the sun. If the hospital is fairly close,then, apart from the daily trip there, you may want to have an afternoon-nap, but I guess your baby still naps, so you wouldn’t have to miss any time with your daughter (except the 15 mins a dady you are in the rads room).

I had a mastectomy in Feb this year, and am now half way through chemo, which is tough, as you know. 20 years ago I had a ski-ing accident that severely damaged my left shoulder- same side as mx. My oncologist was all set to do rads as a matter of course, - she called it ’ belt and braces’ , but my surgeon has been less keen. He seemsconcernedabout further damage to the chest/ shoulder area. I will honestly be relieved if she says no rads, because for me, I could end up being sore and have more tissue damage. But then again, if the cancer comes back, I might wonder if it was because I didn’t have rads. I feel like you, though, perhaps the rads is over treating? I had a tiny metastasis in one lymph node- they took out 4 with the SN , and the rest were clear. so in my head, the cancer is already gone. Thats how I choose to see it, which might be naive of me.
It’s such a personal decision, and you have to weigh up the pros and cons. I was pregnant with my son when I had my accident, and he is 20 now, obviously. I feel blessed that he survived the accident as he is a complete joy!
Good luck with it all. Feel free to pm me as you make your decision.
Lee x

I start my Radium on tuesday next feeling scared but it has to be done.

Hi Danica
I would echo what others have said. I had mx with full node clearance, chemo, then 5 weeks of Rads, and the rads really was ok after chemo. There was a fair bit of faffing about getting started, but then I got into the swing of it and apart from a few delays at times, the actual time being zapped wasn’t long at all. I was worried about my skin-I have sensitive skin, and was really rubbish with every SE on chemo, so I expected the worst!-but it was fine.
The decision making in all of this can be so tough. I wish you all the very best with yours.

Hi ladies,

Thank you so much for your responses anadvice feedback.
I started rads this week however after just one my skin reacted and was in a lot of pain and discomfort, not the norm. I saw my consultant on Thursday and it has been decided to put them on hold for two weeks as my body hasn’t recovered from the chemo. It only been three weeks too. My body seems to be wanting a rest from all treatment.
Lovely to hear from you all
Charlotte (danicas my horses name )

I phoned up every website help line, but eventually had the rads, a complete none event, had a really good laugh in the waiting room and usually got in before my appointment time and was out very quickly. No redness, about a month later a few one second pains that felt like a red hot needle. It had no effect on my left. Chemo is a thing that I would never ever have again.
You make up your own mind in the game, but I would cheefully have rads over medication and everything else.
I wish you a very speedy recovery whatever you decide.


Like all forms of medical treatment, experience of radiotherapy will differ from person to person. Only you can make the decision whether to go ahead.
Personally I decided to do it because if the cancer ever recurred I didn’t want to be thinking “maybe this wouldn’t have happened if I’d had radiotherapy”.

Hi All

Been lurking and reading this thread as i’ve got to decide whether to have rads or not after chemo…wish they’d decide for me… choice is masectomy and immediate recon…or masectomy, rads and delayed recon…any advice thoughts welcome…i had full nodes clearance 3/15 and 37mm tumour already had two lumpectomies but didn’t get clear margins, also am triple negative

the thought of being boobless for 12 months makes me shiver but i know vanity shouldn’t go before treatment, but i am vain and the thought of being hairless, fat and boobless is making me miserable…

hope you all doing well

donna xx

Donna - could you have a temporary expander put in? My surgeon uses these for women who have to have rads and then replaces them a year after tads with implants or recon using your own tissue. I’ve metquite a few other women whose surgeons have done the same.


Thank you for replying :slight_smile: this is all new to me so I don’t know but will definitely be asking onc when i next see her. Thanks again, Hope you are doing well xx