Yes or No to Radiotherapy?

My history, Grade 2, 21mm IDC, with spicule formation extending to 6cm. 1 node positive out of 19. MX,ANC,DIEP.
I am approaching the end of 6 cycles of FEC-T chemo and now have to make a decision regarding radio therapy.
I would be very interested to know if anyone with a similar history has chosen to have/or not have rads? I appear to be in a grey area with some oncologist in favour and some saying its not necessary. I am completly exhausted after chemo and would love to call it a day, but I’m trying to get the clearest answer I can to make an informed choice.
look forward to hearing from you

Hi Suzy52

I have put for you below the link to BCC’s publication regarding radiotherapy, I hope you find it helpful.

Take care,

Jo, Facilitator

Yes to radiotherapy. It might not be strictly necessary, but you just don’t know that for sure. Also, presumably you agreed to chemo because you wanted to take precautions, so why go through all the grot of chemo and not finish the job ?. It’s like taking out an insurance policy you know won’t give you full cover.
Of course nobody should subject themselves to radiation unecessarily, and there is no guarantee that RT will make any difference, but it’s a case of deciding what your greatest threat is at the moment (and I would say it’s BC).
Try not to let scare stories about RT being nasty influence you. I’ve had RT several times / know many people who have had it, and have never heard anyone say it is worse than chemo. It sometimes causes tiredness, and soreness for a few days (and a few people experience sickness), but SE’s are nothing compared to the zombie chemo, FEC T.

Morning! I agree with Lemongrove. Rads will kill any odd cells floating about which need mopping up. I have 6 weeks of rads, I also asked them to blast my sternum , clavicle and nodes in my neck - just to be safe! Good luck with your decision but was a bit of a no-brainer for me ( have 3 young chiuldren) xx

Yes!! Don’t look back and think ‘If only…’ as you never know if its gone! I understand how you feel, I had 6 cycles of FEC and felt shocking and I’m now on the IMPORT radiotherapy trial which finishes next wk! Radio is a breeze compared to chemo, lie down, zap you, (cant feel it, just like an xray) go home. I have experienced no side effects other than a little redness and tenderness under my breast but not too bad. I have two youngish kids (11,13) and I felt I owed it to them to give myself the best chance. So do it! Best wishes with your decision, good luck xx :slight_smile:

Hi suzy i had grade 2, 17mm, 1 node involved out of 16 and some DCIS I also had FEC/TAX chemo. I had 33 rads and for me it was a doddle compared to the chemo. it only takes a few minutes and your out again, like moojoo29 said a bit like having an xray. I was a bit sore towards the end but nothing major. Im over 5 years on now and fine, fingers crossed (can’t seem to cut the ties with this site though lol). Good luck melxx

Thank you all for your input - I’m off for number 5 chemo this afternoon but have taken all your comments onboard - so far none against which is interesting. I’m not shy of the actual proceedure but the potential ill effects to lung and heart (cancer left side) and the clinical evidence to back up the need. I will have a chat to my onco here in France about it this afternoon.
see you later

Hi Suzy
I was in a grey area too for radiotherapy but totally agree with Lemongrove.

I had chemo first and had no invasive tumour left after my mastectomy just some DCIS. I had negative lymph nodes however because there was evidence of lymphovascular invasion and the orginal size of my tumour was unclear I decided to go for rads.

My Consultant who I think takes quite an aggressive approach told me that in the USA rads would be a standard treatment for a lot of us who are in the grey area in the UK.

I found radiotherapy quite straightforward compared to chemo and had very few problems. I had right sided breast cancer but know that provisions are made to protect the heart and lungs by much more accurate CT planning and also breathing techniques used during the radio.

Good luck x


I had ductal invasive 3cm, grade 3.
I asked my oncologist what my chances of a recurrence were if I didn’t have rads. I was anxious about having it because I have a serious lung condition. She wasn’t happy about giving me rads without a discussion with my respiratory consultant. I was told less than 20% chance in chest (I had mx) but 50% chance in lymph nodes. I’d had three removed, one with micromets. Also had vascular invasion but I’m hoping the chemo would have sorted that. Also I’m going to be taking an AI for five years (Anastrazole/Arimidex) which should also give me some protection. She also said that if I had a recurrence in nodes, I could have ANC to deal with that. So I’m not having rads. Radiographer was quite relieved when I refused as she was worried I would have fibrosis of the lung if I’d had rads.
It is a very personal decision, and I can understand anyone who doesn’t have the back up of an extra treatment, like a hormone tablet, deciding to have rads. Good Luck xxx

Unfortunately I missed seeing my onco yesterday as there was a flap on in oncology, but have an appointment for next time.
You’ve all put forward good reasons and ultimately I will have to make a choice, I’ll post my decision at a later date.
Good luck to all xxxxx