• Radiation

    Asked by Ddancer on Saturday, May 11, 2013


    Ok, I just don't understand the radiation thing. . . .I'm right in the middle of chemo, have 3 treatments left, the tumors are shrinking, surgery is in a few months. Doesn't chemo kill everything? Why are they pushing radiation after surgery?

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      It's a "one-two" punch for the cancer cells. You are not sure, nor are the doctors that chemo has killed it. It is standard protocol to do both in many cancer treatments. I had it the first time I was diagnosed. I had chemo then was supposed to have 30 radiation treatments. They stopped the radiation treatments early because they thought I didn't need anymore. My cancer returned 6 months later. So what if I had completed the full radiation? Maybe it wouldn't have came back? No one knows, but I would have been good with finishing all of them.

      After you finish chemo, radiation is a walk in the park (comparatively), but still hard on you. My personal opinion, I will take radiation any day over chemo.

      My advice is take it and be extra assured you have done all you can do.

      over 4 years ago
    • cris' Avatar

      I had chemo then my bilateral mastectomy and now I just finished my 1st week of radiation. I will do anything to kick cancer in the butt, I agree with greg, don't want any what if's. I too have triple negative breast cancer, which is very aggressive, my advice to is do the radiation, but that is my opinion, good luck & keep us updated Remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel....

      over 4 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I chose to be aggressive against this evil and elusive enemy -- surgery, 8 sessions of chemo and 35 sessions of radiation. Chemo and radiation are powerful weapons -- they are not the enemy in your battle - they are your friends. Cancer is the enemy!!! Of course, everyone is different but I feel that we should use every means at our disposal to fight. I wish you the best.

      over 4 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar

      I agree with the others..these are all tools in our arsenal and we need to just use them. Chemo is systematic so it goes through the body, but radiation is targeted and if there were any lymph nodes involved it can target those areas, plus the area of surgery including scar area and chest bone. Radiation is easier to deal with, so don't let your fear keep you from using this powerful cancer fighter!

      over 4 years ago
    • DorothyV's Avatar

      Radiation targets the site where your cancer was to help eradicate any tiny bit of cancer that may be hiding. Chemo treats the whole body. Your oncologist should be able to tell you how much your chances of recurrence would be diminished by each one. Good luck to you. Hope you continue to do well. Hugs and prayer:)

      over 4 years ago
    • grammy's Avatar

      Do the radiation. It's a walk in the park after the chemo and it targets the specific area where the cancer is. You need all the help you can get against the cancer to reduce chances of re occurance. Every procedure you have reduces your chance of cancer reappearing. Fight it at the beginning and you have a much better chance of survival. I did not want the cancer to come back and say I wish I had. Rather I can say I did everything I could to try to prevent reoccurance. Good luck

      over 4 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar

      I agree with what everyone on this board has said. Do the radio. That way you can reassured that the cancer has been eradicated. Don't take any chances with your life. Do it and know you did every thing you could to kill this disease.

      over 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I'm with the rest of the people. Go for the radiation - it's like extra insurance, it also a different mode of treatment that can get things that surgery and chemo miss. I would also strongly suggest you speak with your oncology team and discuss your treatments plan and protocols. Tell them they you would like more clarity and are trying to understand the process better.

      over 4 years ago
    • Kossmore's Avatar

      Radiation is like shooting an arrow into the tumor. It is targets a very specific area.

      over 4 years ago
    • Ddancer's Avatar

      Thank you everyone! How kind of you all to respond and help me. I do feel much better and will take your advice.

      over 4 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      I don't understand how Cris had a bilateral mastectomy AND radiation? Mastectomy eliminates all breast tissue, taking away the need to irradiate.

      In your case, the chemo not only deals with the local breast tumors but is used to address the more important issue of cells that may have migrated out into your body and could in the future establish tumors (it's the metastases that kill). The radiation kills the local tumors, which is important so that there is no spread.

      As I had a double mastectomy, I "only" got chemo.

      over 4 years ago
    • laurie2025's Avatar

      I am having a bilateral mastectomy on Wednesday. I just finished chemo to shrink the tumor. I will have 6 weeks of radiation after I heal from surgery. There will be plenty of lymph nodes and not sure what all else that the cancer can "sneak" into. It only takes 1 cancer cell. I want them ALL gone.

      over 4 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      All it takes is one tiny cancer cell to start it growing again! Even a double mastectomy is no absolute guarantee and radiation is often recommended. I agree, radiation is a cake walk compared to chemo. I got a slight burn at the very end, but I got it taken care of and it was easier than dealing with chemo fatigue. Fight this stupid cancer with everything you can. It is not easy, but you can do this! Never give up! Good luck.❤

      over 4 years ago
    • barbaraanne's Avatar

      I am just as frustrated as you. Let me share my experience so far. I had 4 chemo treatments, 3 weeks apart. Had a break in between- 5 weeks before starting rad (which in my opinion was to long) I started radiation, my 2 week in I felt a small lump by the lymph node area. I was scheduled for as MRI (per my surgeon). Came back showing an enlarged lymph node. Scheduled surgery/biopsy to check it out, turned out the cancer spread to 1 lymph node, thank god the other 13 were clean. So this happened after chemo, and during rad. I have to say, it felt like the rad shrunk the lump a bit, before surgery. Now they are not sure if I will need chemo again (the chemo onc) is talking to other docs, at bigger cancer ctrs. So this Triple Negative is very aggressive. I believe they still don't know what to do when this happens. The other day I had a 102.7 temp, the surgeon gave me antibiotics. They did some tests, I'm waiting for results, not much fluid came out, so I don't know if it's from the surgery or radiation? Neither doc is saying..What type of surgery r u getting? Sorry for rambling, but I felt I needed to share, maybe it will help you w/decisions u need to make. Be well and best of luck to u..

      over 4 years ago
    • barbaraanne's Avatar

      Forgot to add I am definitely continuing w/my rad treatments. They just need to change it up a bit..

      over 4 years ago

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