• Got diagnosed with non invasive 0stage DCIS and opted to have mastectomy to-remove right breast. What is the reason for radiation.

    Asked by Luciee on Saturday, November 4, 2017

    Got diagnosed with non invasive 0stage DCIS and opted to have mastectomy to-remove right breast. What is the reason for radiation.

    The tumor was 22cm big and 3 of the margins after surgery showed mimminal non invasive cancer. Why do radiation...can anyone help me.

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • geekling's Avatar

      Because, I imagine, your margins werent clear.

      Sorries but better safe than sorry.

      about 3 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I can give you an example. During treatment for my 1st diagnosis, I was supposed to have 30 radiation treatments. After 25 my oncologist decided that was enough, that I didn't need the other 5. They weren't bothering me at all, and I didn't ask them to stop. They told me I was good to go, no sign of the previous swollen lymph nodes or anything else. 6 months later, the same cancer returned on the other side of my neck. So....if I had of been given those extra 5 treatments, would it have come back? I would have much rather had them.

      about 3 years ago
    • Jouska's Avatar

      I think you need to have a further discussion with both your surgeon and your oncologist. If the tumor is truly 22 cm, I am surprised it is considered non-invasive and surprised you are not receiving chemo and radiation. Could you have meant 2.2 cm or .02 cm? The first would probably be stage l or ll and the second would probably be stage 0. So it is a little hard to offer any assistance, other than to say further details are needed and the best to provide that would be your doctors. Usually if one does a mastectomy and nothing has spread to the lymph nodes, there is no need for radiation. It is usually done if lymph nodes are affected or if a lumpectomy is done. This link may be helpful. http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/diagnosis/staging#stage0 You should have been provided with your pathology report after the mastectomy which would have covered the details of the diagnosis. Your oncologist or surgeon should be willing to walk you through the report and explain any and all of your diagnosis and options.

      about 3 years ago
    • junie1's Avatar

      I had cancer in !994 stage one,, did a lumpectomy,,on the left breast,, had both chemo and radiation. all went well for 20 years.. then in 2014 a tumor was found behind the scar and it was bigger than in '92. it effected the right breast also,,,and all the lymph nodes on the right side, I had a double mastectomy in 2014,, and went thur chemo and radiation again!,, glad I did,, I koow that the doctors did what they thought was best.. So far all is good.. wish is would have had a double mastectomy in 1994. maybe I wouldn't have had to go thur it 20 yrs later,,

      about 3 years ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar

      Did you mean 22 mm? (That's 2.2 cm). 22 cm is humongous. Hard to believe that a tumor that big (which would be larger than a grapefruit, or even than an entire small breast) would be entirely confined to the ducts. Maybe your surgeon meant that DCIS, confined to the ducts, was scattered over roughly 22cm of the breast? But probably, the reason you had radiation after mastectomy might have been that your doctors suspected that there might have been tumor cells in areas adjacent to the removed breast tissue.

      Ironically, many more DCIS patients I personally know than Stage IA IDC patients opted for mastectomy, even bilateral, because DCIS is likelier to be multifocal than is IDC--and multiple lumpectomies done within a single breast (especially a small one) can result in extreme asymmetry; so that it made more sense to remove the entire breast .

      about 3 years ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar

      Before you see your oncologist or radiation oncologist, I would bring a list of questions. First, I would clarify your staging - something is not right there. I also don't understand what you are saying about the margins. I wouldn't think margins would be an issue in a mastectomy unless there was invasion into the chest wall. I see in your profile that you don't know your hormone receptor status. I would ask about that for sure. There are very different treatments depending on hormone receptor status. I'm shocked your oncologist and surgeon didn't go over this information with you as it is such vital information. I know it is sometimes hard to take in all the information, but both my surgeon and oncologist sent me home with a very detailed pathology report. Ask for this too. I hope you find out all the information you need to make an informed decision.

      about 3 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar

      Your doctor is the only one with your medical records, so he/she is the only one who knows why you need radiation. Generally speaking radiation is to try to kill remaining cancer cells, but they also use chemo for that, so it sounds like you need to discuss with your doctor. Take a friend to help you listen, and one of you needs to take notes to be sure you get everything.

      Doctors think you understand what they say if you don't ask questions, so don't be shy about asking what you need to do.

      Best wishes.

      about 3 years ago
    • hikerchick's Avatar

      I got a second opinion and then a third and asked a lot of questions of all the radiologists. In my case, it was very close to the chest wall and that's why 1 of 3 suggested radiation. But the fascia was removed and took with it any chance, in my opinion, of cancer remaining. So I chose not to have radiation and all that goes with it. That was 7 years ago and no problems for me. But I really had to get detailed info in order to make an educated decision.

      about 3 years ago
    • Ashera's Avatar

      22 cm is over 8 inches! I don't think a tumor that size would be stage 0. Please have this discussion with your oncologist, your surgeon and the radiation/oncologist. Tiny, invisible cancer cells can lurk all over this area - and radiation is a good tool to hunt them down. Are you having chemo now? Please let us know!

      about 3 years ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar

      Any amount of cancer cells, however "minimal" and "non invasive," in the margins requires follow-up treatment. If after lumpectomy, then re-excision followed by radiation once margins are finally clear. Because you had a mastectomy yet still had "dirty" margins, radiation would be the less-invasive way to "clear" them--unlike after lumpectomy, not enough tissue might remain for re-excision to be possible. Also, with 22cm worth of tumor, your surgeon's not taking any chances--most likely wants to make sure nothing's lurking in the chest wall &/or clavicular lymph nodes.

      If the cells are truly non-invasive (tumor scattered over that wide an area might be totally intraductal nonetheless), chemo would not be appropriate--it's done only for invasive cancer.

      about 3 years ago
    • LymphActivist's Avatar

      Sometimes radiotherapy is given to reduce the risk of local recurrence. But with DCIS, surgery may be adequate, and not present the risk of breast lymphedema or delayed breast cellulitis in the near future. Press your doctor as to why they are opting for radiotherapy. Arm yourself by reading "Breast and Truncal Lymphedema-- Its Nature and Treatment" on my web site at www.lymphactivist.org/breast_lymphedema_for_therapists.pdf

      about 3 years ago

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