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Radiation Therapy

dharmal
Posts: 17
Joined: May 2002

I was dx with non-invasive DCIS and have had lumpectomy and the margins are clear. Next step is radiation. I would love to hear from you on your experiences so I have an idea of what I am going to be up against. Thanks so much. You have no idea how much all of you have helped during this time...

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

I think some of us just hope that we can help someones else through their time and we know it all to well.
Radiation is a breeze compared to chemo. You will get tired and be good to yourself, don't do to much but still try and stay active. In Canada we have been told to use nothing on this area during the radiation process. No creams or anything except a mild soap in shower or bath. We also were told to get WATER BASED cream and the only one out there is through perscription. I looked at all creams there isn't one out on the market. I often wonder if putting cream on and things doesn't cause it to burn more. People in states complain of severe burns more than Canadian women I have talked to. Why is that then?
I think you will find the ride more of a problem than the actual radiation treatment.
Good luck and know we are with you all the way.
Tara24242

jmears
Posts: 270
Joined: Jul 2001

I'm with Tara ... the traveling back and forth everyday was more of a hassle than the treatments. I am very fair and the nurses warned me upfront that I would burn. They advise very mild soap ... I used ivory and some other homemade soap I found at a craft show. No lotion. After 3 weeks I started to see some reddening. Oh also ... not to wear a bra as often as possible and to wear large white cotten t-shirts so the skin can breath as much as possible. I eventually got more red with just ever so slight blisters. The doctor then advised me to use cornstarch from the baking section ... other powders are sented and he advised against that. I went early in the morning then went to work ... I was not tired from the radiation because I was already used to the exhaustion from the chemo. If you didn't have chemo you may notice the fatigue from the radiation more. Anyway ... everyone was suprised I didn't burn up. I made a lot of new friends at the radiation center ... had coffee with them every morning ... when I finished I was rather sad. Good Luck Jamie

blackbandana
Posts: 65
Joined: Apr 2001

I used creams and found them to make things worse... I got a rash and blistered. I was told then to use corn starch and found it to be wonderful... take care and keep us posted.

banker
Posts: 321
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi, I to had DCIS,Lumpectomy and 6 weks of radiation. Did not burn bad, just some redness,Nurses gave me Aquaphor ointment which helped and I used cornstarch. Also I used an all natural deodorant called "TOM'S"
available at Rite Aid Drugstores. The treatment itself was fine, just very timeconsuming,because it is a daily thing.My treatments were 2 hrs. from my home , I ended up staying at a relatives house torward the end because I was to tired. That was the only side effect, fatique. I now take chemo as I am in the high risk catagory (had BC before in other breast.) At present I am doing fine, went back to work part time. I wish you the best, think positive and let us know how you are doing. Love Emmi

nasa2537
Posts: 317
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi...I had a lumpectomy on 9/10/01. I had Stage 1 cancer. The radiation (33 treatments) was really not that bad in my experience. The simulation they do before treatments takes awhile, so plan on a long appt. for that. It was just a bit uncomfortable for me to keep the one arm above my head for as long as they needed me to, but they let me bring my arms down for awhile once, so it wasn't too bad. The 1st treatment also takes a little longer, because they double check all the numbers to make sure they are radiating exactly where they want to. Be prepared to be written on with Sharpie pens...don't know if they all do that, but my doc did. You will also get little tatoos...they are very smal pin-point tatoos that help the techs line you up exactly the same each treatment. From the 2nd treatment on, you will spend more time on the road than in the room...it goes fast. Now I saw the doctor every Monday after treatment, had blood drawn every Wednesday, and saw the nurse every Thursday to check the skin and go over the blood work. After a few treatments, the breast got pretty warm, and stayed that way through treatment. I got kind of pink, too, but never really burned. I had 2 tiny blisters under my breast by the time I was done. Some women get bigger ones, some get none at all. The doc told me to cut my aloe plant and use that on the radiated area every day after treatment. I also was told to use over-the-counter hydrocortisone 1% cream to take some of the pink out...it also helped with slight itching. They gave me Aquaphor ointment to use when the skin started to break down. Mine didn't break down very badly...just some slight peeling and the 2 blisters, but I put the Aquaphor on pretty thick every night anyway. My sin is now slightly leathery (for lack of a better way to describe it), but I never got any hardness in the breast or anything like that. Be prepared to miss the people you will see every day...they become quite a part of your recovery for 6 weeks...I was done in November, and I still stop by to see them every now and then. Best wishes to you, and keep us posted with how you're doing! God bless, Cyndi

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