Question for Inkblot

PJMP
PJMP Member Posts: 9
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
In reading a reply that you made to another subscriber I learned that radiation changes take up to 2 years to happen. This is the first I have heard of it. Can you tell me any more? Here's my story in brief: At age 51 (year and a half ago)I had a small lump removed, no node involvement, then had DCIS removed to clear the margins around tumor, then radiation. What kind of changes are occurring now? You can respond on here or send email to [email protected] Thanks. Paula

Comments

  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hi Paula:

    I believe you're referring to my reply wherein I stated that radiation induced changes can take up to two years to "resolve"?

    The following is what my response was based upon:

    Most of the printed literature one finds will state that most of the breast changes we can feel and/or visualize, will resolve by 12 months, post radiation. However, my mammo techs and docs (including oncologist, radiation onc and surgeon) said 18 months to 2 years, based upon their experience.

    Changes also happen inside our breasts which we cannot see but mammo's can detect. As explained to me: Changes from surgical incisions/rads, reorder the shape of tissue inside our breasts. Radiologists study and compare our mammo's to see what's going on in there with all this and "track" the changes and render their opinions about things such as scar tissue, fluids, cyst formation, microcalcifications, slight tissue thickening, any and all nuances caused by radiation/surgical procedures, etc. which take their own time to settle, to a point wherein no further change is being detected.

    Once this happens, we can then resume a yearly mammo schedule. In my area, most every woman having had lumpectomy/radiation, has mammo's every 6 months, for the first 18 months, minimum.
    A pain, but seems to be the standard protocol for follow up here.

    Remember, that if you notice any swelling, pain, redness, shoulder pain, arm stiffness, tenderness or anything unusual, no matter how long, post radiation, you should ring your radiation oncologist for consult.

    A large majority of the "changes" take place quickly/during rads. Such as fluid build up, which causes the breast to enlarge and/or necrosis of tissue, which can cause the breast to shrink. Redness of the skin (burning, which varies from person to person), darkening of the skin, enlargement of the pores, increased or reduced skin sensitivity, peeling, cracking of skin, bleeding in some cases, itching bumps, etc. The list is long but this list is side effects we would see and/or feel.

    Changes also happen inside the breast tissue which we cannot see, thus the mammo's track these, until the radiologist is satisfied that
    everything has settled and it's fine to go to a yearly schedule.

    Hoping this is helpful.

    Love, light and laughter,
    Ink
  • PJMP
    PJMP Member Posts: 9
    inkblot said:

    Hi Paula:

    I believe you're referring to my reply wherein I stated that radiation induced changes can take up to two years to "resolve"?

    The following is what my response was based upon:

    Most of the printed literature one finds will state that most of the breast changes we can feel and/or visualize, will resolve by 12 months, post radiation. However, my mammo techs and docs (including oncologist, radiation onc and surgeon) said 18 months to 2 years, based upon their experience.

    Changes also happen inside our breasts which we cannot see but mammo's can detect. As explained to me: Changes from surgical incisions/rads, reorder the shape of tissue inside our breasts. Radiologists study and compare our mammo's to see what's going on in there with all this and "track" the changes and render their opinions about things such as scar tissue, fluids, cyst formation, microcalcifications, slight tissue thickening, any and all nuances caused by radiation/surgical procedures, etc. which take their own time to settle, to a point wherein no further change is being detected.

    Once this happens, we can then resume a yearly mammo schedule. In my area, most every woman having had lumpectomy/radiation, has mammo's every 6 months, for the first 18 months, minimum.
    A pain, but seems to be the standard protocol for follow up here.

    Remember, that if you notice any swelling, pain, redness, shoulder pain, arm stiffness, tenderness or anything unusual, no matter how long, post radiation, you should ring your radiation oncologist for consult.

    A large majority of the "changes" take place quickly/during rads. Such as fluid build up, which causes the breast to enlarge and/or necrosis of tissue, which can cause the breast to shrink. Redness of the skin (burning, which varies from person to person), darkening of the skin, enlargement of the pores, increased or reduced skin sensitivity, peeling, cracking of skin, bleeding in some cases, itching bumps, etc. The list is long but this list is side effects we would see and/or feel.

    Changes also happen inside the breast tissue which we cannot see, thus the mammo's track these, until the radiologist is satisfied that
    everything has settled and it's fine to go to a yearly schedule.

    Hoping this is helpful.

    Love, light and laughter,
    Ink

    Thank you-that was very helpful. It would be nice if we all got that much of a clear explanation following radiation. I feel like I ask plenty of questions but I don't always get clear answers. Thank goodness for discussion groups like this one. Paula
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    PJMP said:

    Thank you-that was very helpful. It would be nice if we all got that much of a clear explanation following radiation. I feel like I ask plenty of questions but I don't always get clear answers. Thank goodness for discussion groups like this one. Paula

    Happy to share Paula and I know what you mean...too many times, the docs just don't tell us things which could really make a difference
    in helping us to feel better "prepared" and less "panicky" about our treatments. Before, during and after! Keep asking those questions though and be insistent if necessary.

    Stay well.

    Love, light and laughter,
    Ink