Thanks for your post.
Radiotherapy is given for invasive breast cancer to destroy any cancer cells that may have been left in behind after surgery. This helps to reduce the risk of it coming back in the breast, chest area or lymph nodes.
In terms of knowing if it’s been successful, the aim of treatment after surgery is to reduce the risk of the breast cancer coming back in the future, but, it doesn’t completely take away the possibility.
Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to say which patients will experience a reoccurrence.
You will be able to accompany your mum to her radiotherapy appointments and stay with her while they get her in the right position before the radiotherapy is actually given. However, you won’t be able to stay with her in the room while the radiotherapy is given.
Although your mum will be left alone in the room, cameras will allow the radiographers to see her on a television screen and also to speak to her via an intercom. Treatment only takes a few minutes.
It’s perfectly safe for your mum to be around pregnant women after she’s had her radiotherapy treatment. She won’t be radioactive. It’s just like her having an X-ray. So you can choose when you want to share your happy news with her.
Do call our free, confidential Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The number is 0808 800 6000.
Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.
Breast Cancer Now Nurse
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Hi, very sorry to hear about your mum, but congratulations on your good news. I am sure that hearing that it will spur her on and give her something to look forward to.
As regards the rads appointments, of course you can accompany her and give her that much needed support. No one can actually be in the treatment room, though. Even the staff retreat into the viewing room when the lasers are in action. I found the rads to be very unthreatening and easy to tolerate . Some tiredness as the sessions wore on, but other than the constant travelling and waiting around when machines broke down, or tiny babes needed to jump in before me, nothing to bother about at all. Just ensure that mum carries out the instructions from her team about moisturising and looking after her skin. She will be advised on aftercare, and will be provided with appropriate skin care. Good luck to you both. 🍀
My mum has breast cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes. She will start 3 weeks of radiotherapy soon. How soon after treatment will we know if it’s been successful?
Also, she doesn’t know but I am 8 weeks pregnant. Am I allowed to accompany her to her radiotherapy appointments?