nervous about radiation

confused123
confused123 Member Posts: 251
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I have had double mastectomy, AC chemo, Taxol(finished yesterday) and am still on Herceptin until April. All this and I have not been as stressed out about any of it the way I am stressed about radiation. I feel there are so many horror stories! My plastic surgeon says my skin is so thin he is afraid it may burn a hole, he deflated me halfway for the radiation to prevent the burn. Has anyone else been told they have "thin skin" and did you do okay with radiation? Any suggestions on how to prevent this?
Kim

Comments

  • taleena
    taleena Member Posts: 1,612 Member
    Kim... I'm so sorry.. I
    Kim... I'm so sorry.. I don't have any information on this... just wanted to let you know I was watching out for you.. someone will come in with experience in this area... soon.

    Hugs and hang in there.

    ~T
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
    radiation
    I was not told I had thin skin. My expanders were not deflated for radiation, and I did not have serious problems with radiation. I did get a red burn and blisters and dry skin, but no worse than bad sunburns that I have had before (I burn easily, so that is nothing new). I would advise you to talk to your Dr. about your fears, but modern training and technology in radiation treatments mean it is as safe as can be. The machines target the tissue very specifically and the technicians are well trained in how to use it. The majority of patients do not have serious issues.

    Take care of yourself, seof.
  • Kylez
    Kylez Member Posts: 3,761 Member
    seof said:

    radiation
    I was not told I had thin skin. My expanders were not deflated for radiation, and I did not have serious problems with radiation. I did get a red burn and blisters and dry skin, but no worse than bad sunburns that I have had before (I burn easily, so that is nothing new). I would advise you to talk to your Dr. about your fears, but modern training and technology in radiation treatments mean it is as safe as can be. The machines target the tissue very specifically and the technicians are well trained in how to use it. The majority of patients do not have serious issues.

    Take care of yourself, seof.

    I have never heard of thin
    I have never heard of thin skin. But, I am in radiation now and doing ok. Soon to be done. And sorry, I don't know anything about expanders. I had a small lumpectomy. You need to talk to the radiation oncologist or another doctor I would think. Good luck!
  • dbs1673
    dbs1673 Member Posts: 203
    Kylez said:

    I have never heard of thin
    I have never heard of thin skin. But, I am in radiation now and doing ok. Soon to be done. And sorry, I don't know anything about expanders. I had a small lumpectomy. You need to talk to the radiation oncologist or another doctor I would think. Good luck!

    thin/thick
    Hi Kim, I'm one of those with thin skin. I'm built small and as my dr describes it I simply don't have any fat in my upper body. I completed my radiation with my expanders in tact. My skin had some burning but I certainly don't think any more than what others would normally get. On the outside, it seems like everything has healed well..skin is soft, no burn scars, etc. I finished my radiation in October. I did have implants put in in April and I have had problems due to the radiation creating scar tissue and density under the skin. Met with the surgeon and we're working on a game plan. We might have "thin skin" but it takes "thick skin" to keep our determination to move forward. Hope this helps.

    dawn
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    Radiation treatments
    Kim, I don't know about thin skin, but I have been doing fine on rads so far. My radiated breast is red and occasionally throbs, but it's not too bad. I have 6 more treatments left and so far no blistering or holes. They check your skin very carefully during radiation to make sure that you are not having too much of an adverse reaction. There is a lot they can do to mitigate side effects, such as different and stronger creams, medication, and taking short breasks to give your skin time to heal. But then again, you may breeze through treatment.

    Mimi
  • Christmas Girl
    Christmas Girl Member Posts: 3,682 Member
    Hi, Kim...
    Please try NOT to think about the "horror stories"... As the others here have already stated - modern technology and techniques are focused on preventing such serious side effects in the first place. You will be checked regularly and closely by your rad onc throughout treatment.

    I did very well with rads. 35 standard treatments, with only one very small and not so bad burn during the final week. And, healed very quickly after treatment was completed. So, mine is certainly NOT a horror story.

    Best wishes to you.

    Kind regards, Susan

    P.S. to Mimi: Glad you're doing well with your own rads, almost done - yippee!
  • Jeanne D
    Jeanne D Member Posts: 1,867
    mimivac said:

    Radiation treatments
    Kim, I don't know about thin skin, but I have been doing fine on rads so far. My radiated breast is red and occasionally throbs, but it's not too bad. I have 6 more treatments left and so far no blistering or holes. They check your skin very carefully during radiation to make sure that you are not having too much of an adverse reaction. There is a lot they can do to mitigate side effects, such as different and stronger creams, medication, and taking short breasks to give your skin time to heal. But then again, you may breeze through treatment.

    Mimi

    Kim
    Please don't be scared of radiation treatments. They are going to help fight the beast! I haven't heard of thin skin either, so, I can't help you there. Sorry :(

    I had 37 treatments and only had a lil burn in a couple of places, nothing bad. And, some red itchy bumps with my boosters. The radiation oncologist gives you creams that helps with any burn or blistering that you may get. And, once they are done, you have beautiful new babylike skin. :) He also looks at your skin, at least, once a week to see how you are doing. The treatments now are so advanced that they are very safe. Just take good care of your skin during the treatments and get lots of rest.

    I hope that you get thru your rad treatments with no problems!

    Jeanne
  • crazylady55
    crazylady55 Member Posts: 92
    rads may not be so bad
    I had a right mastectomy and just had my 23 of 28 rad treatments today. I get 4 areas "zapped" across my chest. Every other day they do what they call a Bolus which intensifies the radiation (it is a gel pad they put over my chest during the treatment).

    I have Lupus so my skin is always compromised and I was told rad would probably be difficult but thankfully it has not been bad at all. Until yesterday, I was barely red. Today, I look like I have been in the sun too long not really a burn.

    Make sure you use the creams that the rad onc recommends. I use Biafine which is a prescription cream.

    Good luck and try not to worry too much, I know it is scarey at first but it is probably the least invasive of all the BC treatments (surgery, chemo,drugs,etc)
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598

    rads may not be so bad
    I had a right mastectomy and just had my 23 of 28 rad treatments today. I get 4 areas "zapped" across my chest. Every other day they do what they call a Bolus which intensifies the radiation (it is a gel pad they put over my chest during the treatment).

    I have Lupus so my skin is always compromised and I was told rad would probably be difficult but thankfully it has not been bad at all. Until yesterday, I was barely red. Today, I look like I have been in the sun too long not really a burn.

    Make sure you use the creams that the rad onc recommends. I use Biafine which is a prescription cream.

    Good luck and try not to worry too much, I know it is scarey at first but it is probably the least invasive of all the BC treatments (surgery, chemo,drugs,etc)

    Just want to wish you good
    Just want to wish you good luck with your rads. I am almost done with them and am a lil pink all over, but, only burnt in one place and I use Biafine for that. Just use your creams and put them on thick after your treatment. Luck to you!
  • neda
    neda Member Posts: 36
    I did not have an bad
    I did not have an bad reaction to rad. I can tell you I have a sensetive skin too.MY sking changed slightly to pink and it went a way two weeks after radiation. Don't worry at all. But I asked my Dr to priscribe a good lotion, and he recomended bifine. It worked perfectly. you may or may not feel a little tired and would need to take more rest. That is all!

    Good luck and don't read dose bad stories please.
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598

    rads may not be so bad
    I had a right mastectomy and just had my 23 of 28 rad treatments today. I get 4 areas "zapped" across my chest. Every other day they do what they call a Bolus which intensifies the radiation (it is a gel pad they put over my chest during the treatment).

    I have Lupus so my skin is always compromised and I was told rad would probably be difficult but thankfully it has not been bad at all. Until yesterday, I was barely red. Today, I look like I have been in the sun too long not really a burn.

    Make sure you use the creams that the rad onc recommends. I use Biafine which is a prescription cream.

    Good luck and try not to worry too much, I know it is scarey at first but it is probably the least invasive of all the BC treatments (surgery, chemo,drugs,etc)

    You are almost done
    You are almost done crazylady and with few side effects! I am so happy for you! I use Biafine too and it works!
  • jgridley
    jgridley Member Posts: 169
    Kim
    I am so sorry, but understand how you feel. I was scared my first day. the first day I was there they gave me a Radagel for free. I also put vitamin E on my breast each morning when I would get out of the shower. if your skin gets too red, they will let you have some time off. I had a week break because my skin was too red.

    I don't have the personal experience with the thin skin, but you are in my prayers..

    Julie
  • CR1954
    CR1954 Member Posts: 1,390 Member
    Kim..........
    I personally found rads to be the easiest and most tolerable part of treatment.
    My skin was pretty red and burned (no worse than a sunburn) by the time I finished, and I was very tired. But compared to surgery and chemo.....easy.

    CR
  • Kristin N
    Kristin N Member Posts: 1,968 Member
    CR1954 said:

    Kim..........
    I personally found rads to be the easiest and most tolerable part of treatment.
    My skin was pretty red and burned (no worse than a sunburn) by the time I finished, and I was very tired. But compared to surgery and chemo.....easy.

    CR

    Kim, rads are easier for you
    Kim, rads are easier for you if you have had chemo. They do wear you out, you might get

    burned and it is an imposition to go everyday for 7 weeks or so. But, it kills any stray

    cancer cells and that is what you want. Don't be afraid and voice your concerns to your

    radiation oncologist. Good luck!
  • confused123
    confused123 Member Posts: 251
    Kristin N said:

    Kim, rads are easier for you
    Kim, rads are easier for you if you have had chemo. They do wear you out, you might get

    burned and it is an imposition to go everyday for 7 weeks or so. But, it kills any stray

    cancer cells and that is what you want. Don't be afraid and voice your concerns to your

    radiation oncologist. Good luck!

    Thank you everyone. Mostly
    Thank you everyone. Mostly I am nervous about the radiation because my plastic surgeon is not thrilled with it so I am worried about what I will look like permanently after my implants are in. I want them to look nice as I am sure everyone does. We deserve something out of the deal right? I am kidding but seriously I do want the right (rad side) to look like my left side when it is over. I am glad you all shared stories of the "sunburn" and am feeling much better about that. I wrote down the names of all the creams to ask my rad onc about on Wed.

    Kristin I did have chemo 4 rounds of AC and 4 rounds of taxol and still on herceptin but I feel the rad is worse because of permanent visual damage. I am getting better about it because the rad onc is not making me get the tattoos, using henna tattos instead and they come off. I am much more positive now. I know I need it and went for 2 opinions before deciding to do rad but I am 33 and was told there is so long for the cancer to come back if I do not do rad so I have been mentally preparing for it and am feeking okay with it now. This website and all of you have helped with that.
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598

    Thank you everyone. Mostly
    Thank you everyone. Mostly I am nervous about the radiation because my plastic surgeon is not thrilled with it so I am worried about what I will look like permanently after my implants are in. I want them to look nice as I am sure everyone does. We deserve something out of the deal right? I am kidding but seriously I do want the right (rad side) to look like my left side when it is over. I am glad you all shared stories of the "sunburn" and am feeling much better about that. I wrote down the names of all the creams to ask my rad onc about on Wed.

    Kristin I did have chemo 4 rounds of AC and 4 rounds of taxol and still on herceptin but I feel the rad is worse because of permanent visual damage. I am getting better about it because the rad onc is not making me get the tattoos, using henna tattos instead and they come off. I am much more positive now. I know I need it and went for 2 opinions before deciding to do rad but I am 33 and was told there is so long for the cancer to come back if I do not do rad so I have been mentally preparing for it and am feeking okay with it now. This website and all of you have helped with that.

    Glad to read you are feeling
    Glad to read you are feeling better! Rads aren't scary, they really aren't. I got the tattoos and you can barely see them. They just look like a teeny tiny freckle. So, they are no biggee. I can't help you with how your implant side will look after rads. I had a lumpectomy. I am sure you will look beautiful! Good luck to you!
  • Noel
    Noel Member Posts: 3,095 Member
    Alexis F said:

    Glad to read you are feeling
    Glad to read you are feeling better! Rads aren't scary, they really aren't. I got the tattoos and you can barely see them. They just look like a teeny tiny freckle. So, they are no biggee. I can't help you with how your implant side will look after rads. I had a lumpectomy. I am sure you will look beautiful! Good luck to you!

    Just want to wish you luck
    Just want to wish you luck with rads. Like others posted here, don't be afraid. They will help save your life! luck