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Upcoming Lumpectomy

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Greetings, I am scheduled for a lumpectomy this coming Monday, September 25th. I was diagnosed with DCIS grade 0 and at this point even after reviewing as much information as possible, I am not sure if I want the traditional treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy. I am 67 years of age. With regards to radiation, I am under the understanding that if I decide to wave this treatment it would place me in a better position if unfortunately my DCIS would reoccur. I did read that radiation can only be done once on a cancerous breast if the cancer returns. I am curious for those who elected to waive either radiation or chemo, how are you doing since you made such an important decision? Thank you.

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  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 924
    edited September 2023
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    Hi @goawaycancer , You are correct that radiation can only be done once on a breast. Chemo is not prescribed for DCIS since it is not invasive. The problem with recurrence is that it might be invasive instead of DCIS again. At your age skipping radiation and taking AIs (aromatase inhibitors) for 5 years for ER/PR+ DCIS is is an option depending on your cancer characteristics.

    Since everyone's situation is different this is something you should discuss with your doctors. At 69 I was initially diagnosed with DCIS but because of its size and grade (3) radiation was strongly recommended to statistically decrease recurrence by 35%. In some situations radiation gives only a 5% benefit. When you know your personal risk it is easier to make a decision. Unfortunately after surgery my tumor turned out to be IDC with DCIS so I was treated for IDC. Once your surgical pathology is available your doctors will have the information needed to answer your questions.

    I hope your lumpectomy goes well. All the best deciding what further treatment to do.

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 736
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    My radiologist, who was pretty high up at a well respected cancer center, said that there is a lifetime maximum dose for radiation to the breast - but I would not reach that limit with my treatment and radiation could potentially be an option if I had a local recurrence.

    That said - many people with invasive cancer these days are not recommended chemo. Is your oncologist suggesting chemo and radiation after surgery?

  • natbarmi
    natbarmi Member Posts: 3
    edited September 2023
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    maggie15,I am not a topic starter,but very grateful for your answer.I am 56,diagnosed with DCIS stage 0,grade 3, ER/PR + on August 2023,had lumpectomy (tumor was 12 mm,negative margins),my oncologist recommended radiation treatment,which I am scheduled to start on September 28th.I am very anxious about radiation treatment (it is on my left breast).If you could ,please,share your experience with radiation and may give some advise about what to do and what to expect during radiation treatment. I will be very grateful to anyone who will be able to talk about it.Do not have too many friends in US (I am from Ukraine),my mom passed away from breast cancer when she was 59. Hoping to hear from you.Thank you in advance.

  • goawaycancer
    goawaycancer Member Posts: 5
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    My surgeon will make her final recommendation following my surgery on Monday. As noted above, Chemo is not recommended for non-invasive cancer. My previous pathology report is subject to change post-surgery; I am continuing to pray for good news.

    Blessings to All

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 924
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    Hi @natbarmi , My cancer turned out to be invasive so my radiation treatment was a bit different from what yours will be. I followed the nurse's advice on taking care of my skin (every place seems to have their own recommendation about which moisturizer to use) and only had redness like a sunburn. My most noticeable side effect was being very tired, especially toward the end of treatment. The tech crew which makes sure you are in the correct position and delivers the radiation from an adjoining room was very nice. The LINAC machine is quite loud but made different noises from an MRI machine. Here is a link to information about breast radiation.

    https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/radiation-therapy

    Exactly what happens varies a bit but this video from ASTRO (the organization for radiation oncologists) will give you an idea of what it is like.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIRAWVV6tzg

    I hope your treatment goes well.

  • aromaof9
    aromaof9 Member Posts: 2
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    Maggie15. Thanks for your comments. Newly diagnosed, saw my surgeon yesterday. Plan is for lumpectomy and 5 radiation treatments. Reading everything I can to prepare so I know what questions to ask and what to watch for. Really appreciate all who share their experiences to help the rest of us. I have no one in my circle who has had breast cancer so forums like this one are important

  • natbarmi
    natbarmi Member Posts: 3
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    maggie15,thank you for answering my questions,it was very helpful.Starting my radiation treatments this Thursday.


    Blessings to all!