Whether to have radiotherapy after WLE for DCIS

Hi I first posted a few weeks ago, since then things have moved on and I have had a WLI for a 5mm DCIS high grade.  The oncologist is now recommending 5 weeks of radiotherapy.  I am really in a dilemma as to what to do.  The risks are quite small, but one of the risks of radiotherapy  is developing a lung tumor 10 or so years down the line (both my parents died of lung cancer relatively young) if I don’t have it the risk of recurrence is double what it would be with, but still very small.  I have to be able to live with whatever happens its really difficult to decide. Would be interested to know what anyone else with similar decided and on what basis!

Must say that all the doctors etc in Bristol have been amazing which really helps.

Hi there


I felt similarly. My dx was invasive lobular and treatment was wle/snb and then rads. I did feel that because my cancer was quite small and stage 1 that there should have been some discussion over what the benefit of rads would be in my particular circumstances but I was just quoted the standard stats. There seems to be little if no research into the benefits of rads for different pathologies. Or any equivalent to the oncotype test for chemo which seems to provide a very precise picture of what the benefit is for an individual.


In the end I did do the rads, mainly because it is the standard treatment and I am not sure how I would feel if I got a recurrence and hadn’t done it. I am now having to be patient and wait till late next year for reconstruction, which is another issue if you have rads.


Someone at the hospital told me that radiation is the ‘poor relation’ in the range of treatments in that there is little money in it for profit-making companies and that therefore less research is done around it.


Good luck with whatever treatment you decide on.



Hi A, I had WLE and SNB in late December. 3mm grade 4. Luckily I had the oncotype test which put me border line for chemotherapy so I am starting radiotherapy in the next week or two. CT and planning appointment on NYE next Tuesday. It is all scary but at least at the end of this journey when I have reconstructive surgery in May/June, I will be able to say to myself that I have taken every chance of the cancer not recurring. I live for now and not the future. If I am unlucky further down the line then I’ll deal with that then but for now and since my first diagnosis, I want to do everything possible to rid myself of this awful disease. Whatever decision you make, it can only be yours. I personally wouldn’t go against the normal judgement of the specialists.

Take care Mands xxx

A few thoughts:

If you don’t have the rads, and it comes back, it will be a primary cancer in the breast. You are likely to be much more aware of your breast now, so I would imagine that you would pick up a lump and have it seen to quickly. Not nice, and only you can judge whether you’d feel comfortable with this approach. A primary in the breast is still very treatable - but it would mean chemo etc. And, the chances (based on the stats) are that it won’t come back anyway. But, if having the rads now is going to give you the understandable constant worry over a possible lung cancer which is more difficult to check for - then this approach may be an option. I’m not advising you, but I think you need to sit down with someone who can look at the stats, understand how you will think and feel and look at some options based on the outcomes in different scenarios. There is a right answer for you and you’ve got a long life ahead to live so make that as worry free as possible.