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Topic: VMAT: Volumetric Modulated Radiation Therapy

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During, and After —

What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: Aug 19, 2021 09:32PM - edited Aug 19, 2021 09:39PM by KLR63

KLR63 wrote:

Anyone familar with VMAT radiation therapy? My RO office called me today and said I was switching to this from IMRT. I've already at sims for IMRT and they want me to start VMAT in four days? However I haven't a clue what it is or why they're changing treatment The person who called me was the scheduler and couldn't answer any of my questions. I'm not happy that I was informed about a change and basically left out of the discussion. Anyone's input would be most helpful. Also I'm not going to move ahead until I get answers. TIA

DX 5/2021 Stage 1A Left Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Aug 19, 2021 09:41PM Esther01 wrote:

Hi KLR63,

I think you're fortunate! I believe that VMAT is an advanced form of IMRT. I am currently going through IMRT radiation and though the beam does sweep over me from above and the side (hard to tell with my eyes closed), I don't think it is 360 like VMAT which is even better because it spares more healthy tissues when it circles you.

It sounds like you got an upgrade :)

Blessings,

Esther

Grateful to Jesus, that His love finally broke through to me. "With one touch, You just rolled away the stone that held my heart," - Lyrics by Keith Green, " 7 weeks of Radiation including supraclavicular nodes. Dx 12/2020, IDC, Stage IIB, 5/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 12/19/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 6/8/2021 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 8/3/2021 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Aug 19, 2021 09:47PM Esther01 wrote:

I'm also glad that you are insisting on answers to your questions before starting treatment. On the day they mapped me, I noticed an X sticker way up near my throat and found out they were radiating my supraclavicular nodes (at the clavicle). I said, "I am not consenting to that!" That led to an immediate meeting with my RO who explained that because I had lymph node involvement (5 nodes), he had to include those near my clavicle. He also showed me in 3D color how they were going to protect my esophagus, heart, lungs, etc. There is only one point at top of my lung where there might be some minor scarring that will show on an xray, but he assured me I will never notice any breathing difference and will still be able to climb Machu Picchu (if I ever get there).

Speaking of breathing, since yours will be a left-sided radiation, I recommend asking if they will be using DIBH (deep inspiration breath hold) to get your heart out of the way. There is a safeguard so that if you breathe at the wrong time, the radiation beam will instantly turn off. Deep, diaphragmatic breathing is very helpful during the radiation beams.

Blessings, and feel free to join our August 2021 radiation group. It's a sweet, funny group of women who are going through this together and we'd love to come alongside you as you begin, too.

Esther

Grateful to Jesus, that His love finally broke through to me. "With one touch, You just rolled away the stone that held my heart," - Lyrics by Keith Green, " 7 weeks of Radiation including supraclavicular nodes. Dx 12/2020, IDC, Stage IIB, 5/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 12/19/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 6/8/2021 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Reconstruction (left) Radiation Therapy 8/3/2021 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Aug 20, 2021 01:50AM Cowgirl13 wrote:

I had the DIBH and it was so easy to do. I got really good at it.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the Devil says: 'Oh crap! She's up! Dx 5/28/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 6/17/2009 Chemotherapy 8/3/2009 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/21/2009 Hormonal Therapy 2/23/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 1, 2021 01:54PM KLR63 wrote:

I believe you are right! i'm so glad my insurance agreed to cover it. The rad oncologist said it was medically necessary.

DX 5/2021 Stage 1A Left Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Sep 1, 2021 01:54PM KLR63 wrote:

I'd love to join the rads group. I guess it would be for September now.

DX 5/2021 Stage 1A Left Surgery Lumpectomy: Left

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