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lung involvement in radiation

jsco
Posts: 16
Joined: Aug 2002

Hi Iwas told by my radiation oncologist that i will have more lung involvement than they generally like (due to the shape of my rib cage)However she also says there are almost no consequences B/c of it. I'm worried about this. I'm already considering doing a matectomy instead of radiation (for other reasons basically fear). Does anyone have any knowledge about lung involvent in radiation I am 41 in good physical shape and not a smoker (which according to my oncologist makes a difference. Please respond!!

shirlann
Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

Hi, dear, on AOL's site several women have complained of lung problems with rads. Not too many, just a few. But I sure know what you mean. I kind've wished I had gone for a mast and no rads, because why do we want radiation when we know it is a cancer causer? Especially someone as young as you. I know this is a hard thing to decide. Not too many people have any problems, but a few do. Some, even have heart damage, (very few). I know the difficulty of making this decision. I saw my daughter-in-law, who is only 40, have a mast and immediate tram flap reconstruction and she did very well and looks very nice. I kind've wished I had opted for the same. Good luck with your decision! Gentle hugs, Shirlann

jsco
Posts: 16
Joined: Aug 2002

Dear Shirlann,
Thanks for responding to my question. My lumpectomy was on the right side so heart problems areless of an issue. The lung thing scares the heck out of me. But then again so does going back into surgery. This is such a tough decision and I really have to make it by wed.(on wed i'll go for simulation). Why did you decide not to get a mast.? whats so hard for me is that the doctors are not reccomending it of course they are not saying its extreme either. Love to hear from you again.
Julie

shirlann
Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

Hi, Julie, well at the oncologist's visit she just said, you have a very small cancer and you are a candidate for lumpectomy and radiation. She said the recurrence and life expectancy was the same. I just said, lumpectomy. Now, after seeing how pretty my daughter-in-law's breast looks, (she had a mast and tram-flap reconcstruction by a Plastic Surgeon) I kind've wish I had not had the radiation because my family is loaded with all kinds of cancer and I don't think I really needed 35 doses more in my system. This is just musing on my part. But if you have a strong family history of cancer of any kind, but most especially reproductive types, prostate, ovarian, breast, I would consider NOT having any radiation. The medical profession does not evaluate us at all on history of family members, except close ones with BC. None of my relatives had BC, but every other kind. Soooo, not much help, but just another thing to think about as you plan. Gentle hugs, Shirlann

jsco
Posts: 16
Joined: Aug 2002

Dear shirann,
I also hada small tumor os they felt comfortable just doing a lumpectomy which I had 6 weeks ago. My father died of pancreatic cancer and thats pretty much my family history. I will go for testing but I just didin't have the stomach to do it now. are you taking tamoxifan? It dosn;t sound like you did chemo? bye julie

shirlann
Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

No, honey no chemo, just rads. I had a 4 mm and a 3mm tumor, so small they said I didn't need chemo. But I am 67 so that may have affected the decison too. I don't know. I hate this, in every other thing in my entire life the docs decide and tell you what will happen. Then we get a life-threatening illness and wham, they want US to decide. What the hell do we know? Kind've made me mad, like if we die, we can't blame them. Grumble grumble. Hugs, Shirlann

jeancmici
Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

I was going to have a mastectomy to avoid radiation - then found out I would have radiation anyway. So I went with the lumpectomy. Is yours left or right breast - mine was left which is more tricky - but the technicians and doctors get a lot of practice because left breast is more prevalent.

I think you will be fine. Most people have no problem with lungs after radiation - and when they do it is minor and reversible.

Wishing you confidence and a good outcome.
Jean

jsco
Posts: 16
Joined: Aug 2002

Dear jean,
What made you finally decide to do the rariation? This decision is huge I'v thought it through in every way> I have to decide by wed. (i'm going for simulation). my right breast is the one being radiated. No docs are telling me to get a mast so i'm going against the trend. i'm afraid top go back into to surgery. love to hear from you.
thanks julie

jsco
Posts: 16
Joined: Aug 2002

Dear jean,
i just reread you message and i see why you didn't do the mast. I do not need radiation if I get a mast. I'm taking tamoxifan and thats my treatment. still like to hear from you. thanks julie

jeancmici
Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

Julie,

I just sent you a separate email message through this site. When I was first on this site, I did not look in that area so didn't want you to miss it.

Jean

banker
Posts: 321
Joined: Apr 2002

Just want to put in my 2 cents. It was explained to me that there are different types of radiation machines. The place I went to had a 3 dimential machine, for which the Rad. Onc. sets up the program, all computerized, causes less burning and less lung or heart envolvement. I am in Western NY, it is the only machine in this area. You might want to check where you are if they have this type of machine. I had 34 rads, all went well, minor sunburn, pink skin, some peeling, no blisters or other complications. Used Aquaphor ointment which helped. Even with mastectomy you still might need radiation. I wish you the best in making this decision. I am 58 years young.
Take care, hugs .....Emmi

jeancmici
Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

Just wanted to say that there must be more than one such machine in WNY because I did not go where you did, but the program was all computerized too and I had not even any peeling - just deep pink where the boost was given the last week.

jsco
Posts: 16
Joined: Aug 2002

Dear emmi
thanks for responding. If I do mast. I will not need radiation. I live in NYC I'm being treated at sloane kettering. I don't know what kind of machine they have but thats a good question and if I do rad I will ask. Its such a big decision and I have to make it by WED. Love to hear from you.

Thanks Julie

isaiah4031
Posts: 243
Joined: Jun 2001

Hi,
I had radiation post lumpectomy, and then chemo. No problems with the rad. Just a darkening of the skin. I used aloe vera gel daily. No peeling or burning. It's good that you are getting lots of information about this before you decide. I will be praying that you make a decision that brings you peace. Whatever you decide will be right for you.
Love, Jayne

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

Just wondering if you realize you will probably avoid chemo with mastectomy not radiation. Seeding of cancer occurs when they pull tumor through the opening and seeds in walls of opening. This seems to be more likely the case, more often seen anyways. Welcome to the site and hope you find what you are looking for.
Be good to yourself,
Tara24242

jsco
Posts: 16
Joined: Aug 2002

Dear tara,
I'm not clear on what you mean by seeding? I'v already met with a radiation oncologist who said I would not need radiation if I get a mastectomy. This has been what all the Docs have said. I have already had a lumpectomy six weeks ago. Doing a mastectomy is my choice. Thanks write back Julie

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

I don't know where you are and that might be the difference in treatments. Seeding is when the cancer seeds itself in the walls of insission from my understanding. I could of avoided radiation since it gave little benefits but I wanted everything that might even help alittle increasing my chances for prolonged life. I found this interesting when I talked to radiation Doctor in Canada in BC. No one talks about this at all it seems. Just wondering why some get radiation and some get chemo or both. I understand margins are different and all but that different?
So yes maybe having lump removed makes some sort of difference what do I know anyway.
Be good to yourself,
Tara24242

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