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All TopicsForum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Starting Radiation November 2017

Topic: Starting Radiation November 2017

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

Posted on: Oct 30, 2017 06:43PM

AngelaJL wrote:

Who is with me? I start my 21 treatments on Monday, November 6th.

Dx 8/15/2017, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 9/13/2017 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 11/6/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 13, 2017 09:41AM lifechoices2017 wrote:

Linwentz; control freak...funny you say that because that is SO ME! OMG... for as OCD as I am; Im like I have no control over this so Im just letting God do what He does best. Again, honestly, i think thats where my anxt comes in because its like i want all the answers, and I want it done, I want it done now; and I want it done quickly. I want to know how it feels, how it looks, what to use, what not to use and how much of whatever to use (lol)... BUT I know thats not the case so Im being patient and obedient.

At my job we do this thing called One Word; its a book about choosing a word and identify why that is who you are. Oddly enough my word for the school year was 'choices'. I guess I had no idea how many Id have; but at the same time, how many I wouldnt have. RIght now; im choosing life, health, and peace of mind. So for all of the 'controlling' that I'd want to do right now...my 'choice' is already 'chosen' for me and that's to follow doctors orders! Relinquishing my control is not so easy sometimes, but I guess in this situation God is showing me that He's in control and you know what IM GONNA LET HIM!

I thank everyone here for posting their journey; you never know how somewhere in a line or two how it can uplift someone else and help them along the way.

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Nov 13, 2017 10:42AM OCDAmy wrote:

Hello to all. I had my mapping session today and will start rads the Monday after Thanksgiving. It is interesting to read through your comments and see how treatments and recommendations are different. My nurse went over skin care today. I was given a prescription for Topicort to use at night before bed. I am to put that on followed by a thin layer of Vanicream which they gave me today. In the morning, I am to wash the creams off and then apply cornstarch to the affected areas with a powder puff. I can apply the cornstarch as much as I need it. I don't think I have seen anyone else say they are using cornstarch? I will be getting 28 treatments. They made an upper body mold today and I will use that each time. I will also be using a bolus. I got the impression that a bolus is only used for those who have had mastectomy, is that correct? They told me the bolus will not damage my skin. They also said something about the bolus helping to also protect the heart, I need to ask more about that. I was relieved that I do not need to hold my breath, they said the equipment they use compensates for breathing. I also got the tattoos, they use tattoos that are light pink and hardly visable. They find them using some sort of thing like a black light. I am glad to get moving on this third chapter of what seems like a never-ending story. I suppose I will join the December rads group if one is started since many of you will be done soon.

Dx 2/2017, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Nov 13, 2017 11:07AM Linwentz wrote:

Lifechoices, you made a reference to school. Are you a teacher? I retired in June and am so relieved I only have myself to contend with. Teaching ruled my life! If I were still working I know I wouldn't have the energy to take care of myself like I do now. And I love the "one word" idea. Last year my word would have been "exhausted" and now it would be "betterchoices" Even though I am not in total control, I do have the power to make better choices

Dx 7/12/2017, DCIS, Left, 4cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 7/28/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 9/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 9/22/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 10/23/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 13, 2017 11:28AM NikJ wrote:

53Nancy, I was just telling my RO this morning that I'm not as fatigued when I eat protein for breakfast before treatment, so yes it made a big difference for me. Tomorrow is the last whole breast for me then 4 boosts and I'm done. Can't wait!

Dx 6/27/2017, LCIS/DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 8/14/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 10/23/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 13, 2017 11:32AM 53nancy wrote:

NikJ, thank you for your reply. Can you described a typical breakfast, i.e., protein and fruit, or just protein? I am diabetic so have to be careful of carbs anyway. When I do have a smoothie, I typically use water, berries or green apple, spinach, ground seeds, and a scoop of protein powder. I always have good sugars after those.

Surgery 7/17/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 8/16/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Dx 10/12/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC)
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Nov 13, 2017 12:07PM NikJ wrote:

53Nancy, your breakfast sounds way healthier than mine! I've just been having 2 eggs and sometimes I add avocado. As long as you don't have carbs you should be fine. I was thinking of starting to make smoothies like yours. For some reason my appetite has increased since I started Rads. I'm always hungry after treatment even though I already ate. I lost a lot of weight since I was diagnosed (from my nerves) but I feel good and don't want to put it back on.

Dx 6/27/2017, LCIS/DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 8/14/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 10/23/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 13, 2017 12:59PM DodgersGirl wrote:

ref breakfast and carbs and rads; check with your RO. Mine advised I need to eat lots of protein each day to help my body rebuild tissues that rads are killing.

I do have 3 eggs for breakfast each morning.

Dx 3/10/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/4/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/10/2017 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 10/23/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 13, 2017 01:46PM 53nancy wrote:

Thanks DodgersGirl; I am getting anxious to have that meeting so that I can get going on getting the best handle on things. :)

Surgery 7/17/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 8/16/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Dx 10/12/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC)
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Nov 13, 2017 01:49PM 53nancy wrote:

NikJ, thanks! I will probably add eggs on a regular basis; I guess when people go through something like this, the usual flies out the window. I have been told I am not supposed to lose weight, so am hoping to at least maintain where I am. I did lose quite a bit after I switch to Alkaline Diet. Have a good week.

Surgery 7/17/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 8/16/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Dx 10/12/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC)
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Nov 13, 2017 10:52PM Shellsatthebeach wrote:

Hi Nancy, I usually eat either an egg, or grab a handful of nuts. I eat light in the morning and don't eat anything that will bring my blood sugar up. I find that keeps me feeling awake and alert throughout the day. Carbs of any sort make me extremely fatigue early in the day; I was unable to function on Friday after radiation when I went on my carb binge. I won't be doing that again, or at least not until radiation is finished.

Dx 3/2017, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+, HER2- Surgery 8/28/2017 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left Dx 9/15/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 6/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 9/24/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 10/17/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere)
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Nov 14, 2017 05:44AM tlfrank wrote:

My simulation was yesterday and my first treatment is today. The RO is going with 21 treatments at a higher dose. The first 16 will be whole breast and the last five will be zeroed in on the site where the tumor was. Anyone else on this type of schedule? I'm wondering if at a higher dose at each tx if the side effects show their ugly head faster and harder?

Surgery 10/3/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 10/9/2017, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Radiation Therapy 11/13/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 14, 2017 05:48AM Linwentz wrote:

Thanks for the protein for breakfast tip. I have been trying to do all the "best practices" and was not aware of that one. So eggs,and protein smoothies it is

Dx 7/12/2017, DCIS, Left, 4cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 7/28/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 9/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 9/22/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 10/23/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 14, 2017 07:33AM 53nancy wrote:

Sheilasatthebeach, thanks for your tip also. I hope you don't have too many more rads. I am counting down the days til the 20th. I'll do anything to keep the fatigue down! I have seen lots of posts about long term fatigue. I am looking for ways to avoid that, so will have lots of research to do.

tfrank, hope your first rads goes well. I am having 16 treatments, but nothing specific to the tumor area, therefore no boosts.

Good luck with protein to avoid fatigue Linwentz. We are rooting for you

Surgery 7/17/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 8/16/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Dx 10/12/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC)
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Nov 14, 2017 08:43AM DodgersGirl wrote:

53nancy-- just wanted to say that I have finished 17 of 28 rads and seldom feel fatigue. Early on, I did have 2 days where I suddenly got tired in the afternoon but that went away just as quickly as it hit. I suspect it was more due to returning to work after mastectomy surgery on the same day as starting rads.

I am eating a lot of protein and trying to walk some every day. Also making sure I get at least 8 hrs of sleep a night

Good luck to you

Dx 3/10/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/4/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/10/2017 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 10/23/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 14, 2017 09:34AM AngelaJL wrote:

Tlfrank, I also have 21 treatments scheduled: 16 whole breast and 5 boosts. Today I'll have my 7th treatment. I started feeling the tenderness after the 3rd. Not looking forward to what the next 14 will bring

Dx 8/15/2017, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 9/13/2017 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 11/6/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 14, 2017 09:49AM tlfrank wrote:

AngelaJL - please keep me updated on how you are feeling/experiencing and I will do the same. Are you finding any particular products that ease the discomfort? I have calendula lotion and green tea to try.

Surgery 10/3/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 10/9/2017, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Radiation Therapy 11/13/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 14, 2017 09:52AM DodgersGirl wrote:

tlfrank- I just posted on Oct rads that my skin was sunburned red looking and RO told me it was time to start using aquaphor in addition to calendula oil. He said aquaphor heals skin.

I applied it a few times yesterday and today my skin is pink not sunburn red. Hope aquaphor continues to help my skin. I have 11 rads rrmaining

Dx 3/10/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/4/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/10/2017 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 10/23/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 14, 2017 09:57AM tlfrank wrote:

DodgersGirl - good to know about Aquaphor, I'll pick some up. Do you find it as greasy as everyone says it is?

Best wishes for minimal side effects to us all.....

Surgery 10/3/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 10/9/2017, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Radiation Therapy 11/13/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 14, 2017 10:46AM 53nancy wrote:

Dodgersgirl, 11 more to go. I hope you get through them without heavier side effects. I am preparing every way I can. I am sure I'll be less anxious once I've had the first rads, and we sure hope bad weather won't make us miss any appointments. Good luck

Surgery 7/17/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 8/16/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Dx 10/12/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC)
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Nov 14, 2017 10:50AM 53nancy wrote:

Are there recommendations for a particular brand of calendula oil? I've been on Amazon and there are so many

Surgery 7/17/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 8/16/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Dx 10/12/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC)
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Nov 14, 2017 11:00AM tlfrank wrote:

53nancy - My RO gave me a sample of Calendula Cream - it's in a white tube with pink accents ...(figures. I'm starting to hate the color pink) , as well as a sample of a product called Miaderm. I have not tried either yet though, so cannot recommend one over the other.

Surgery 10/3/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 10/9/2017, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Radiation Therapy 11/13/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 14, 2017 11:07AM DodgersGirl wrote:

53nancy-- I was advised by RO to use calendula oil as it has been clinically proven to help the skin. I could not find "oil" in town so I bought Boiron calendula lotion from a local vitamin/health food store. They said they sell a lot of it to rad patients. Calendula is made of marigolds. That is the key ingredient.

As far as aquaphor, I had read so much about how messy it was that I was pleasantly surprised by how not messy it really was. It sqilueezes out of the tube and I rub that into my skin. Fingers wash clean easily. Nothing is on my white undershirt, it just lays on my skin until absorbed. I applied sobs this morning and if I touch my skin now, it is still there and moister than bare skin. I wouldn't wear my clothes directly over it but the cotton undershirt is making these easy to do (I did sleep in an undershirt last night to keep sheets cleaner)

Dx 3/10/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/4/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/10/2017 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 10/23/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Nov 14, 2017 12:37PM 53nancy wrote:

Thanks, DodgersGirl, I think someone else made the suggestion about the undershirts, so I have that on my shopping list. But I might even find something at the local thrift shop. I found a lot of "big" tops from there on a bag sale and they won't be tight on me, but my intention when I'm done with RADS is to send them back! :) The Aquaphor if found is for babies, so should be good for tender skin. I am going on to Amazon again to check the Calendula. Thanks for your help, and have a great week.

Surgery 7/17/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 8/16/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Dx 10/12/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC)
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Nov 14, 2017 01:14PM sunnyjay wrote:

Question for those that are well into their rads treatment... How long did it take for your rads team to figure out your positioning? I finished rads #4 yesterday and there was still so much adjusting and marking me up even though I have the tattoos and stickers. The time it takes to get me in the right position takes longer than the treatment itself. Is this normal?

Also, vertigo is triggered when the machine moves around me. The first time this happened on day 2 I almost panicked and wanted to tell them to stop. But I stared at a point on the ceiling and it went away. Yesterday, I felt the dizziness start but it went away as soon as I stared at the same point on the ceiling. I hope the vertigo is due to my recent cold and gets better as my cold subsides.

24 more sessions, and counting... LOL

Dx 3/23/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/17/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 5/19/2017 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 7/20/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 14, 2017 01:31PM tlfrank wrote:

Sunnyjay - I haven't actually had a real treatment yet, my simulation run through was yesterday. Today (in about an hour - Yikes!) is my first real dose. I got extremely dizzy during my mapping session so yesterday at the simulation I did find, that if I closed my eyes and concentrated on breathing evenly I wasn't dizzy.


Surgery 10/3/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 10/9/2017, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Radiation Therapy 11/13/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 14, 2017 03:32PM AngelaJL wrote:

Sunnyjay, my simulation was about 45 minutes, but during my treatments it takes them about 30 seconds to get me in position. The first day, when I lay down on the table, they said, "Wow, you lined up perfectly!" and didn't even need me to move at all. Since then it hasn't been quite so smooth: once I lie down, they usually have me move slightly downward or to one side or move my elbow out more to relax the shoulder. And then I'm ready to go!

As for the vertigo, I'm having my treatments face down, so I can't see a thing! No vertigo here.

Dx 8/15/2017, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 9/13/2017 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 11/6/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 14, 2017 03:32PM AngelsGal57 wrote:

I start mine tomorrow (11/15/17) 4 weeks of daily radiation with Thanksgiving and weekends off. Trying not to be anxious or worried. I went through Chemo and worked full time all the way through and the side effects were manageable. Most that I talk to say this is easier. I think its that it is every single day that makes me dread it. At least with Chemo and infusions it was every 21 days. Would love some words from those who have been there.

Angelsgal57

Dx 3/20/2017, Right, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 5/10/2017 Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 14, 2017 03:43PM AngelaJL wrote:

Hi AngelsGal57. Yeah, it's every day, which can be a little wearing. But in my case at least, from the time I walk into the treatment room to the time I walk out, it's under 10 minutes. So it's pretty quick!

I'm getting 21 treatments, and as of today I'm 33% done! I keep updating my percentage in my head each day. It makes the end seem closer. :)

Dx 8/15/2017, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 9/13/2017 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 11/6/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 14, 2017 03:49PM AngelsGal57 wrote:

I am doing it before work every morning and glad I am a morning person and the hospital is only a block away. Cant beat that. I am very fair skinned so the sunburn part of this concerns me. Keep me in the loop on how you are doing.

Smile

Dx 3/20/2017, Right, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 5/10/2017 Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 14, 2017 04:32PM AngelaJL wrote:

I'm very fair skinned, too, with sensitive, reactive skin, so I've been worried about how this is going to go. I'll keep you updated!

Dx 8/15/2017, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 9/13/2017 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 11/6/2017 Whole-breast: Breast

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