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All TopicsForum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Radiation therapy or not

Topic: Radiation therapy or not

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

Posted on: Sep 13, 2017 10:15AM - edited Sep 13, 2017 10:24AM by random_monkey

random_monkey wrote:

Hi all, this is my first post in this forum, I hope I am placing the topic under the right section. Just a small introduction, I am writing in regards to my wife's condition and the personal details based out of my wife's condition as well.

Her post-surgery lab result shows that there were 19mm of tumor (from the previous 27mm along with 2 positive lymph nodes (1.9mm and 2.3mm).

I wonder if anyone may share their view on radiation therapy. So far, my understanding (from google) is that she falls in a grey area where the effectiveness of the radiation therapy almost balance the potential long term side effect (lung cancer and heart problem).

** she is not a smoker.

I will also appreciate if anyone may share their experience on side effect and lymphedema.


Dx 12/18/2016, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 1/30/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 1/31/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/31/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 7/31/2017 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Sep 13, 2017 11:42AM Mucki1991 wrote:

I had those same concerns I was reassured that technology has come a long way and the risk of damage to heart and lungs is much lower. Think of it this way chemo kills distance and radiation kills local. Good luck on your wife's treatment

Dx 5/5/2017, ILC/IDC/IDC: Papillary, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/14/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 8/22/2017 AC + T (Taxol)
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Sep 15, 2017 09:23AM random_monkey wrote:

@Mucki1991 Thank you for reply. Indeed I was reading through the reports from different trials and note that they are usually follow up since 10-15 years ago. Unfortunately there just isn't enough data on the new technology that gives us the confident to go for it.

Dx 12/18/2016, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 1/30/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 1/31/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/31/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 7/31/2017 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Sep 15, 2017 09:51AM - edited Sep 15, 2017 08:33PM by ruthbru

I'm over 10 years out. Radiation on left side; no problems then or now. No recurrence of cancer either. Since she has lymph node involvement, you know the horse is already out of the barn. You should concentrate on getting rid of every drop of cancer, which you know she has now, instead of concentrating on the rare (rare because technology has very much pin-pointed the treatments) side effects which may or may not occur later. Don't google your answers. The main page here has good information, The American Cancer Society, Mayo Clinic's website, John Hopkins....stick to reputable sources; but most of all, get an oncology team that you trust and can work with, and then FOLLOW their recommendations.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 15, 2017 09:52AM gb2115 wrote:

I guess what it comes down to is your wife needs to decide what level of risk is worth it to her. I had a lumpectomy plus a positive lymph node, so there was really no avoiding radiation for me. 7 months out I have some shoulder stiffness and pain coming from the lymph node area near the shoulder that they radiated, that comes and goes (mild, not enough to medicate). There was dermatitis during treatment, for sure. Skin problems are common but they usually heal. Mine did and required dermatological care. But it healed. However, that said, having already experienced radiation I would do it all again in a heartbeat if it meant improving the likelihood of the cancer not returning--especially with that positive lymph node. For me, having been through cancer once already, it's recurrence would be my worst case scenario and one I would like to do anything to avoid. So I deal with the shoulder pain. I think it was worth it, but that's my opinion from my experience.

Good luck---it's hard enough to be going through cancer let alone having to be forced to make treatment decisions without being able to see the future!


Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Mammaprint low risk luminal A, Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen.
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Sep 15, 2017 11:49AM Rebamacfan123 wrote:

You have enough information already.

I would like to add my two cents if rads will be done

Try to find newly established rad place. New ones tend to have newer and more sophisticated rad machine. I happen to find less than 2 yr old place and boy the machine was like a fancy calculator that more than 2 mm diff mattered. It was called TrueBeam

I found out newer rad place is better when I was rerouted to a local hospital within the same chain.This was a big hospital but they had older style machine.

You have to be strong and god will look after your wife.

Mimi

Surgery 2/15/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 3/20/2017 Radiation Therapy 7/30/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Sep 16, 2017 05:22AM random_monkey wrote:

As much as we have a lot of trust on her oncologist, we can't say the same for the entire radiotherapy department. Almost every single of them gave us the impression that they were hard-selling the treatment without knowing what they were selling. Separately we also booked an appointment with another radiation oncology to seek for second opinion. Indeed, we just have find that someone that gives us confidence.

So far, we were told that she has 2% of increased chance of lung cancer, 2% more for heart problem in return for 5-10% improvement 10 years OS. The statistics does not differentiate the number of nodes which I am not entirely convinced after much googling as I found most of them do. Hopefully the second opinion gives us the much needed faith on the treatment.

Thank you everyone for sharing their experience on radiotherapy. We will also ask more about their radiation device

Dx 12/18/2016, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/13 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 1/30/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 1/31/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/31/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 7/31/2017 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Sep 19, 2017 07:45AM marijen wrote:

News

Reduced radiotherapy is as effective as whole breast treatment for early breast cancer, study finds BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3759 (Published 04 August 2017)Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3759
  1. Susan Mayor
    Author affiliations

Targeting radiotherapy to the original tumour site or using a reduced dose to treat the whole breast is associated with a similarly low rate of local relapse as standard radiotherapy to the whole breast and fewer long term adverse effects in women treated for early breast cancer, a large randomised UK trial has found.1

Breast radiotherapy after breast conserving surgery halves the risk of recurrence of the cancer in patients with early breast cancer. Whole breast radiotherapy is the current standard of care in the UK, as well …

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