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All TopicsForum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Radiation after Lumpectomy necessary?

Topic: Radiation after Lumpectomy necessary?

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During and After — What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: May 26, 2011 11:13AM

AprilS wrote:

My Grandmother will be 77 years old in October. She was diagnosed with Grade III Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma on 4/19/11. She had her lumpectomy this past Tuesday so we do not know the stage yet. The pathologist told the surgeon they were fairly sure she got all the cancer but she took extra tissue just to make absolutely sure she got all the cells. If it comes back with a clear margin is it still necessary for her to go through the radiation treatments? They want her to have radiation treatments 5 days a week for 6.5 weeks. 

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May 26, 2011 12:17PM dlb823 wrote:

April, normally for an infiltrating (nvasive) bc, radiation therapy is the standard of care after a lumpectomy.  However, in view of your grandmother's age, I would suggest maybe getting opinions from more than one radiation oncologist, as there may be varying viewpoints on the risks vs. benefits at her age.  For most of us, radiation wasn't difficult at all.  But if her age and any pre-existing conditions might make it more stressful on her, you'll want to have that information to factor into her decision.   Also, Grade 3 is a more aggressive bc, and her negative hormone status (ER-PR-) means certain preventive meds won't be an option her.  And chemo might not be a sensible option for her either based on her age.  (Just some observations, but I'm not a doctor.)  So in addition to surgery, radiation might be one of her few and/or easier lines of defense. 

I wish her the best, and thanks for reaching out for information.      Deanna

"The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb

Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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May 26, 2011 05:51PM ftblmom3 wrote:

My Oncologist said when you choose Lumpectomy you "automatically" are agreeing to radiation. I am sorry for your grandmothers diagnosis. There are a great many women who are probably in their 70's at my place for radiation.

Best of Luck!

Dx 2/25/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 26, 2011 05:53PM Fearless_One wrote:

My doctor told me rads reduce risk of recurrence after lumpectomy by 50%.   I really think she will do okay with it, even at her age.   It's doable. 

lump/chemo/rads/hyster-ooph/mastectomy/implants

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May 27, 2011 11:52AM Megadotz wrote:

FWIW, my 82 year old aunt had a lumpectomy and radiation.  She's doing great a year later..

I think issues about not doing the radiation come up if the patient's life expectancy is already short. 

All the best.

Dx 3/12/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 27, 2011 11:59AM peggy_j wrote:

AprilS, sorry to hear your grandmother is going through this. Yes, standard treatment is lumpectomy + rads (5 days a week for 6.5 weeks is very common). Of course your grandma could choose to deviate. I agree it makes sense to consider your grandmother's other health issues, and to talk to the RO about her absolute risk reduction from radiation. i.e. if your grandmother's risk of recurrence is 30% so doing rads may reduce the risk of recurrence to 18%.  FWIW, I know two women who had rads in their 70s, I think at age 72 and 74 and they did well. 

Dx 2/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 27, 2011 09:40PM JBinOK wrote:

Well, I had high-grade DCIS; had lumpectomy with WAY clear margins.  Then had 7 weeks of radiation.

Eight months later had a new malignancy, high-grade DCIS again, in the same breast.  Got a nice smooth bilateral mastectomy for Christmas.

To radiate or now?  Who knows?

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May 30, 2011 07:38PM dogsandjogs wrote:

I am 75 and chose to skip radiation. The rad. onc. told me all the pros and cons and left it up to me.

Dx 11/1982, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/17 nodesDx 11/15/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+Surgery 11/17/1982 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal (Right); Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent), Nipple reconstruction (Right)Surgery 02/11/2011 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)
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May 14, 2012 07:20AM, edited May 14, 2012 07:20AM by purple32

Dr Kevin Hughes from MassGeneral ( google)  suggests it does not make as much a difference in older women.

Good luck to all!

Lymphedema on LEFT. NO radiation. 2 clean nodes. purple32. Hope is our light ... in the night.

Dx 3/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/01/2012 Lumpectomy (Left)
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May 16, 2012 06:44AM, edited May 16, 2012 06:45AM by purple32

Just goes to show you, huh JBinok?

Damn crap shoot!

Lymphedema on LEFT. NO radiation. 2 clean nodes. purple32. Hope is our light ... in the night.

Dx 3/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/01/2012 Lumpectomy (Left)