What is radio therapy really like?

I’m due to have my penultimate 5th chemo session next week, the rads after the 6th treatment. I’m no really sure what to expect yet, can anyone enlighten me please?

Sky, finished my rads at the end of November. 15 normal and 5 boosts. It’s a little bit tedious going everyday but fortunately my rads dept kept pretty well to time. I had 2 CT scans for planning the treatment when they marked me with 4 pin prick tattoos. The actual treatment is absolutely pain free. Lying on a bed, 2 or sometimes 3 radiographers line you up into the correct position. Set the machine going and leave you whilst the machine buzzes around you. From what I see each department has different suggestions as how to look after your skin so take their advice. Towards the end of the treatments I developed a small burn under my boob which was prescribed Flamazine cream for. I viewed it as a small price to pay for keeping my boob. It’s all healed now. Be prepared for radiation fatigue, it came on for me after the rads finished but just dealt with it by resting when I needed to, the housework could wait ?. Hope this helps xx

Hi I finished my rads beginning of October, I had 15 sessions and like everyone else has said the actual treatment is a doddle, no pain, just lying back for 5 minutes or so.  However I did suffer quite a bad burn under my breast which took about 2 months to completely heal and still today the skin underneath is quite itchy. It really is the travelling to and from and finding a parking space which is the worst part of the whole thing.  If you have got through chemo you really wont have a problem with radiotherapy.


Very best wishes

Hi. I had my last of 18 rads on the 22nd December. I found once I got into the routine it was easy. The staff were mostly very pleasant and always asked how I was and if I had any problems. I was a bit shocked at first when I had to take off my gown in front of a rdiolgrapher who was about my sons age but soon got over it and have to say he turned out to be the nicest although they were all nice. I think the worst time was when I had to wait for nearly 3 hrs but that was a 1 off. Mostly I was not kept waiting for long and sometimes was in and out before my appointment time. I did get problems with my skin breaking down under my breast but the gel dressings they gave me worked really well. I have suffered from tiredness but find a nap when I can has helped. Good luck. SML

Hi ladies thanks for sharing your thoughts, it puts my mind at ease! Chemo seems to have lasted for so very long, I’ve suddenly got nearer to the end and decided to have a little panic about the radio, as I haven’t given it much thought before! It’s so nice to have a place to ask questions when you think about them! Thanks and hope you are all doing well! X



Last chemo on 19th Dec then just finished my 25th rad session ( 5days a week for 5 weeks ). Used Diprobase all around area and under arm - had no skins issues apart from slightly itchy and not really experiencing any fatigue. Compared to chemo its a walk in the park!



Last chemo on 19th Dec then just finished my 25th rad session ( 5days a week for 5 weeks ). Used Diprobase all around area and under arm - had no skins issues apart from slightly itchy and not really experiencing any fatigue. Compared to chemo its a walk in the park!



Like everyone else - I had 15 sessions of radio. For me (and as some others have commented) - this treatment is a walk in the park and completely pain free. The most tiring part I found was having to come everyday for 15 days as I had a 1-2 hour train journey each way. But in the scheme of things - that was a minor inconvneiance.


The actual treatment itself is just a case of lying on a bed whilst the radiographers quote calculations to each other (they have to work out the angle of the laser at each point on your body & make sure it lines up with the tiny tattoos I was given). After about my 5th session - I could almost quote the calculations myself !! The radiographers will then leave the room whilst the machine does its thing. Nothing to be scared of. It doesn’t touch you in any way shape or form - just beams a laser to the affected areas.


As for my skin - I was completely fine - no burns or blistering or anything like that. I used natural calendula cream which really helped. The hospital suggested E45 but I opted to go for something a bit more natural. Each place will vary on the advice for what creams to use - but just make sure you have a good nourishing moisturiser.


Good luck with it and best wishes.

Hi Alice Im starting my Radio therapy this morning after reading on here I dont seemed to have been told much about it.Im going to be driving myself to and from the hospital about 2hr round trip. Everyone seems to be on about different creams do I cream my boob on the day I have my radio therapy ? And will I be able to pick my own times for appointments I have a daughter at junior school I need to sort out before I go and I have to be back to collect her. Xx

Thanks Sky for that website about radio therapy put my mind at rest I start mine this morning.X

Hi thanks for the comment Im sat here now having my coffee waiting to be called I will do my best to try get other appointments around school times I cant ask for much help off people to take my daughter to school as I have kept this quiet only my husband and sister knows about me so you can imagi e how hard it is for me .xx