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Radiation after Mastectomy

Hi all. I recently had my left breast mastectomy 5 weeks ago. I had a Pathological complete response to treatment so I am very blessed. I am now struggling with the decision to do radiation or not. The radiologist says it is my decision and if I do it it’s like an insurance. I was looking at the side Effects and saw that it could cause possible heart issues since it’s being done on my left side. Is there anyone out there who has gone through the same thing?

Comments

  • quietgirl
    quietgirl Member Posts: 165
    edited August 2022

    I am not going to be a lot of help because my radiation was right side but I feel like your post got lost somehow and there are certainly those who have left side radiation. What I do know is that often with left side radiation you are taught breathing techniques (holding your breath at certain points which can reduce the risk of damage). https://muschealth.org/locations/florence-medical-center/services/cancer-services/radiation-oncology/treatment-and-services/protect-your-heart#:~:text=This%20is%20called%20Deep%20Inspiration,turns%20the%20radiation%20beam%20on.

    But I think it’s really important to acknowledge it’s a personal decision and the benefits might not outweigh the risks for some people. (I honestly don’t know if I would have had a lumpectomy with radiation if it was my left side because I have a congenital heart defect so it might have been a no go from the start).

    Hopefully someone else will have more practical experience

  • nns121317
    nns121317 Member Posts: 101
    edited October 2022

    I had a bilateral mastectomy, but then found cancer in my lymph nodes so I did radiation on my left side, where my primary tumor was. I have heart issues as a result of chemo, but wasn't concerned with radiation. With the mapping and all, the RO could show me exactly what was getting hit with radiation, and it just wasn't close enough to my heart to cause any worry.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,148
    edited October 2022

    My first go round I had rads on left side. RO said they could stop the beam from hitting my heart. Aside from some yucky skin issues then, 10 years later my heart is fine.