I avoided radiation the first time I went through breast cancer treatment, and ended up with LE despite only 9 nodes removed. I have been managing it for 10 years with self-massage, physical therapy and a compression sleeve, worn daily. It is mild.
But now I'm dealing with a local recurrence on my mastectomy site and will be getting radiation. I'm very worried about how it will affect my LE. My first appointment with the radiation oncologist is next week and I'm trying to put together a list of questions to ask her. Based on the last decade of experience with the medical profession, I'm not expecting her to be very knowledgeable about LE, or particularly concerned about how to minimize the risk from it (but hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised!).
I'm wondering if anyone has some suggested questions to ask, studies to bring along, or points to make that would help us come up with a radiation plan that minimizes LE exacerbation, if possible.
If this helps: my tumour is 1.6-1.8 cm, and situated on the mastectomy scar of my left breast. It has been shrinking very well under chemo and herceptin, and my oncologist expects it will resolve fully before surgery. There aren't many lymph nodes left in the area, but there were two under my arm that looked suspicious when I was diagnosed wit the recurrence. They were found to be clear on biopsy. The surgeon had been planning to remove them but now that they have been biopsied, I don't know if he will.
I have an implant now, and for the past few years have struggled with eczema on my skin covering the implant.
I don't know what the radiation oncologist will suggest in terms of whole breast, underarm radiation etc. I'm not able to do proton therapy.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated -- thank you!
11/1/2009, 1cm, Stage I, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+
9/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, ER-, HER2+
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