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Infection during radiation?

TraciInLA's picture
TraciInLA
Posts: 1904
Joined: Jul 2009

I'm on Day 18 of 33 Days of Radiation, and had my weekly visit with my rads oncologist today. He thinks I have an infection in one breast, and has put me on a 10-day course of antibiotics for the infection and Advil to bring down the inflammation.

As I've mentioned before, my doctor has a lousy "poker face," so I think I can read him pretty well, and he was definitely concerned when he examined me, but also reassuring that it's "not a full-blown infection," and that the antibiotics will take care of it.

But of course, I'm sitting here fretting and worrying. The infection is around one of my incision sites, and he asked me whether or not I had any infection after surgery (I didn't). My surgery was 6 months ago (I did chemo after surgery and before rads), so I'm not understanding how this is related? He also mentioned "mastitis"?

Did anyone else get an infection during radiation? I don't really understand how radiation can cause this?

Traci

New Flower
Posts: 4226
Joined: Aug 2009

I would show it to your breast surgeon!

Kat11's picture
Kat11
Posts: 1931
Joined: May 2009

I wish I had an answer for you. I will be starting Rads the 1st week of Jan. Let us know what happens her.

natly15's picture
natly15
Posts: 1941
Joined: Sep 2009

Tracy please keep us updated on this current situation. I developed an infection at the surgical sites after my 2nd surgery of 8/14. They called mine cellulitis which is an infection of exterior and interior tissue. I've been on 3 different types of antibiotics ever since, and it finally seems to be disappearing. It got so bad with fever, chills, etc I was borderline hospitalization.The surgeon put me on an antibiotic that got rid of the fever but the infection was still a raging site. It traveled from the underarm incision all the way to the complete breast. When I saw the infectious disease doctor he asked me if I had radiation, but of course I had not. That is sometime next year for me. It's been a long haul with this infection, I hope it will not be for you.Hopefully yours has been caught before it gets worse. Take those meds and do whatever you have to do to get beyond this, and please keep us posted. Your Florida Cousin. :)

MyTurnNow's picture
MyTurnNow
Posts: 2694
Joined: Aug 2009

Traci, I have never heard of this. I hope it's taken care of quickly with the antibiotics. I'm thinking of you. Keep us posted.

Sher43009's picture
Sher43009
Posts: 602
Joined: Nov 2009

Oh Traci, you've been through the ringer. I've had 11 of 35 rads and nothing but a little redness so far. I'll keep you in my prayers.

BunnyJane's picture
BunnyJane
Posts: 213
Joined: Jul 2009

Traci:

Is sounds like your radiation treatments have been NO FUN! I hope that your infection clears up quickly and it is smooth sailing from here! Jane

teresa41's picture
teresa41
Posts: 454
Joined: Jun 2009

i had 33 radiation treatment no infection just burnt bad.i hope things get better for you.

teresa

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

I haven't heard of this either Traci. I had 35 rad treatments and only burnt somewhat by my collarbone. The rest of me was dark pink, but, not burnt. I hope the antibiotics work quickly for you.

Angie

fauxma's picture
fauxma
Posts: 3567
Joined: Dec 2008

Traci
I googled mastitis because it sounded familiar. It is something that lactating mothers can get. It seemed familiar because my daughter had it with her first pregnancy. So then it didn't make sense that you would have this. Until I looked further and there is a nonlactating version and it can happen to women in treatment for breast cancer. Basically it is an infection in the milk glands and is treated with antibiotics. It can develop after surgery, chemo or radiation. That may be why he asked if you had an infection after surgery. Maybe it can flair up with radiation.
In any case, so sorry that you are having to deal with this. I hope that the antibiotics do the job and that this is all it is. Not that this isn't a big fat pain in the a55.
Stef

roseann4
Posts: 994
Joined: Sep 2009

Ouch! That must be really uncomfortable. I'm sure they will clear that up. What can cause it in breastfeeding is that the duct gets clogged and the milk can't flow to the nipple. You've had lots going on in that breast so anything is possible. Mine went away quickly with medication.

Sorry your having this painful complication.

Roseann

susie09's picture
susie09
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jul 2009

I have never heard of this, but, I hope it is easily cleared up with your antibiotics. I had rads, but, never had this happen. Sending you a very gentle hug!

♠♣ Christmas Susie ♠♣

TraciInLA's picture
TraciInLA
Posts: 1904
Joined: Jul 2009

Thank you all for the sympathy and e-hugs -- and especially Stef and Roseann, for shedding a little light on this.

I talked with the nurse at rads today -- she didn't seem to know very much about this, but did try to reassure me that this does happen sometimes, and that it's not anything to be overly concerned about.

Interestingly, it's really not all that painful -- I'm uncomfortable and tender pretty much all the time now in both breasts, but only occasionally have some pain in the breast with the infection, and Advil helps with that. So I'm hoping my doctor's right that it's only a mild infection at this stage, and that the antibiotics will do their job.

Yesterday and today, I've used this as an excuse to not exercise -- I have an infection, I'm on antibiotics, that must mean I'm sick, right? Sick people don't exercise, right? :-) So I'm allowing myself a little feeling-sorry-for-myself time on the couch with TV and chocolate, but not TOO much, I promise!

Traci

elm3544's picture
elm3544
Posts: 748
Joined: Jul 2009

Glad its not painful for you. I think couch time and chocolate are appropriate for the situation.
Take care.

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Glad you feel better about it and that the nurses are being nicer to you.

You feel sorry for yourself. You deserve it!

Now, go get some ice cream and chocolate!

pitt's picture
pitt
Posts: 388
Joined: Aug 2009

Seriously, a little "sorry for myself time" on the couch with chocolate is a necessary thing! You take all the time you need so that when you are ready you can come back kicking!!! I'm sorry this is not going easily for you...I wish it would.

I will meet my radiation oncologist today...I'm pm you how it goes.

All the best, Pitt

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

So happy to read that you are better Traci!

Pitt, how did your appointment go?

KYLEZ ♥

ppurdin's picture
ppurdin
Posts: 970
Joined: Jul 2009

Sorry to hear your having a problem during radiation.I just done my 19th. one today.So far so good.They gave me a cream to put on to hopefully keep me from burning.Do you get to keep getting rads. or are they stopping for awhile.I pray everything goes ok.take care.Love and Prayers.(Pat).

Sunrae's picture
Sunrae
Posts: 808
Joined: Oct 2009

Traci, nothing for me to add as no experience with rads yet. Just wanted to let you know that your in my prayers for this to go away and quickly. Sorry you're having this on top of it all. Sending you lots of love and drinking a cup with you. Add whipped cream. Makes me feel better.

Bella Luna's picture
Bella Luna
Posts: 1579
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi Traci,

I had an infection on my lumpectomy incision some months ago. The infection turned out to be a staph infection that was treated with Avelox. My surgeon referred me to an Infectious Diseases doctor who then prescribed the drug just mentioned.

I will keep my fingers crossed that the drug prescribed will do just the trick for you. Just so that you know, my infection came shortly before I was to start chemo. Date was pushed back several weeks.

I got over the hump, you will too. Am almost done with chemo. Radiation to follow come late January.

BL

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

Praying that your meds will take care of your infection Traci.

How are rads going for you now? Any better? I hope so.

Debby

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