Questions?

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terri805
terri805 Member Posts: 122
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I am going to see the radiologist and oncologist to discuss a treatment plan tomorrow. I had a lumpectomy on dec 17th and a re excision for wider clear margins on jan22. Diagnosis DCIS. Does anyone have any suggestions for things I need to ask them? Thanks

Comments

  • crselby
    crselby Member Posts: 441 Member
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    rads question
    By all means, ask if you can have brachytherapy (pronounced "brack-ee-therapy"). It is radiation you receive for 5 days. I had it and am so glad I did.
    ~~Connie~~
  • Ritzy
    Ritzy Member Posts: 4,381 Member
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    crselby said:

    rads question
    By all means, ask if you can have brachytherapy (pronounced "brack-ee-therapy"). It is radiation you receive for 5 days. I had it and am so glad I did.
    ~~Connie~~

    There is a list of questions
    There is a list of questions on the American Cancer Society page and also at the Susan B. Komen site. I had 7 weeks of rads and feel very confident that any lingering cancer cells were fried. I only got dark pink during the rads, never burnt. My hubby made everyday a treat for me, so, I didn't mind going everyday at all. And, I had the best group of techs and the best rads oncologist I could ever imagine. Your rads oncologist will explain everything to you, give you literature and ask if you can see the room and even the computers where they program your particular setup. It helped a lot just seeing all of that for me. Ask what cremes you should use and start using them on day one. Get lots of rest as rads will wear you out. I hope this helps some. Good luck!

    Sue :)
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
    Options
    ACS QUESTIONS
    Here is what the ACS list's as possible questions you may want to ask. I highly recomment taking someone with you who can write down the answers and help you to recall what is said as it can be quite overwhelming.

    Detailed Guide: Breast Cancer
    What Should You Ask Your Doctor About Breast Cancer?

    It is important for you to have frank, open discussions with your cancer care team. Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how minor you might think they are. Some questions to consider:

    * What type of breast cancer do I have? How does this affect my treatment options and prognosis?
    * Has my cancer spread to lymph nodes or internal organs?
    * What is the stage of my cancer and how does it affect my treatment options and prognosis?
    * Are there other tests that need to be done before we can decide on treatment?
    * Should I consider genetic testing?
    * Should I think about taking part in a clinical trial?
    * What treatments are appropriate for me? What do you recommend? Why?
    * What are the risks and side effects that I should expect?
    * How effective will breast reconstruction surgery be if I need or want it?
    * What are the pros and cons of having it done right away or waiting until later?
    * What will my breasts look and feel like after my treatment? Will I have normal sensation in them?
    * How long will treatment last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
    * What should I do to get ready for treatment?
    * Will I need a blood transfusion?
    * Should I follow a special diet or make other lifestyle changes?
    * What are the chances my cancer will come back with the treatment programs we have discussed? What would we do if that happens?
    * Will I go through menopause as a result of the treatment?
    * Will I be able to have children after my treatment?
    * What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

    Be sure to write down any questions that occur to you that are not on this list. For instance, you might want specific information about recovery times so that you can plan your work schedule. Or you may want to ask about second opinions. Taking another person and/or a tape recorder to the appointment can be helpful. Collecting copies of your medical records, pathology reports, and radiology reports may be useful in case you wish to seek a second opinion at a later time.
  • terri805
    terri805 Member Posts: 122
    Options
    RE said:

    ACS QUESTIONS
    Here is what the ACS list's as possible questions you may want to ask. I highly recomment taking someone with you who can write down the answers and help you to recall what is said as it can be quite overwhelming.

    Detailed Guide: Breast Cancer
    What Should You Ask Your Doctor About Breast Cancer?

    It is important for you to have frank, open discussions with your cancer care team. Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how minor you might think they are. Some questions to consider:

    * What type of breast cancer do I have? How does this affect my treatment options and prognosis?
    * Has my cancer spread to lymph nodes or internal organs?
    * What is the stage of my cancer and how does it affect my treatment options and prognosis?
    * Are there other tests that need to be done before we can decide on treatment?
    * Should I consider genetic testing?
    * Should I think about taking part in a clinical trial?
    * What treatments are appropriate for me? What do you recommend? Why?
    * What are the risks and side effects that I should expect?
    * How effective will breast reconstruction surgery be if I need or want it?
    * What are the pros and cons of having it done right away or waiting until later?
    * What will my breasts look and feel like after my treatment? Will I have normal sensation in them?
    * How long will treatment last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
    * What should I do to get ready for treatment?
    * Will I need a blood transfusion?
    * Should I follow a special diet or make other lifestyle changes?
    * What are the chances my cancer will come back with the treatment programs we have discussed? What would we do if that happens?
    * Will I go through menopause as a result of the treatment?
    * Will I be able to have children after my treatment?
    * What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

    Be sure to write down any questions that occur to you that are not on this list. For instance, you might want specific information about recovery times so that you can plan your work schedule. Or you may want to ask about second opinions. Taking another person and/or a tape recorder to the appointment can be helpful. Collecting copies of your medical records, pathology reports, and radiology reports may be useful in case you wish to seek a second opinion at a later time.

    thanks
    thanks for your suggestions. I do have a question for you though as to why some people have radiation for like 6 or so weeks when there is the 5 day radiation treatment?
  • crselby
    crselby Member Posts: 441 Member
    Options
    5 day radiation
    Brachytherapy can be given to only lumpectomy patients who had early stage ( 0 or 1 only) breast cancer. Depending on what kind you have, a device or catheters are inserted into the lumpectomy cavity, and the radiation is given by a radioactive seed that travels through the device or catheters. At the end of your session, the seed is returned to the machine, meaning you are not 'radioactive' as someone once posted.
    ~~Connie~~
  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
    Options
    crselby said:

    5 day radiation
    Brachytherapy can be given to only lumpectomy patients who had early stage ( 0 or 1 only) breast cancer. Depending on what kind you have, a device or catheters are inserted into the lumpectomy cavity, and the radiation is given by a radioactive seed that travels through the device or catheters. At the end of your session, the seed is returned to the machine, meaning you are not 'radioactive' as someone once posted.
    ~~Connie~~

    Just for my own knowledge,
    Just for my own knowledge, isn't the device inserted at the same time as the lumpectomy is done? Or, can you have surgery and get this type of radiation at a later date? Just curious. Thanks.
  • Noel
    Noel Member Posts: 3,095 Member
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    MyTurnNow said:

    Just for my own knowledge,
    Just for my own knowledge, isn't the device inserted at the same time as the lumpectomy is done? Or, can you have surgery and get this type of radiation at a later date? Just curious. Thanks.

    The brachytherapy is not
    The brachytherapy is not done by a lot of cancer centers because a lot of the radiation oncologists don't feel it has been tested long enough to show the success of it. Some still consider it in the trial stage even. And, they also feel that the stray cancer cells could be elsewhere, other than right at your tumor site, which is why regular rads take in a larger area, unlike the brachytherapy.

    ♥ Noel
  • jbug
    jbug Member Posts: 285
    Options
    Noel said:

    The brachytherapy is not
    The brachytherapy is not done by a lot of cancer centers because a lot of the radiation oncologists don't feel it has been tested long enough to show the success of it. Some still consider it in the trial stage even. And, they also feel that the stray cancer cells could be elsewhere, other than right at your tumor site, which is why regular rads take in a larger area, unlike the brachytherapy.

    ♥ Noel

    Radiation is given based on
    Radiation is given based on a total dose...that dose is determined by the type of cancer that you have and the cell type. There is another option for radiation as well, not as accelerated as brachytherapy, but shorter time frame. It's an accelerated schedule, some rad oncs will do 2 sessions in a day; others may increase the dose you get per session, that then shortens the time till you get a total dose. So, you might get a higher dose per session and be done w/rads in 3 weeks instead of six. My rad said they did both in my facility.

    There are lots of resources available about radiation. The suggestion from this web site is excellent. I used it before i saw my rad onc for the first time. Write your questions down and then take them w/you so you remember to ask everything.

    You'll have lots of support here when you start. Most important, use your lotions (only what they give you!) liberally and often. The treatments are short and the time will move swiftly.

    Best of luck and God bless...
    Julie
  • aztec45
    aztec45 Member Posts: 757
    Options
    RE said:

    ACS QUESTIONS
    Here is what the ACS list's as possible questions you may want to ask. I highly recomment taking someone with you who can write down the answers and help you to recall what is said as it can be quite overwhelming.

    Detailed Guide: Breast Cancer
    What Should You Ask Your Doctor About Breast Cancer?

    It is important for you to have frank, open discussions with your cancer care team. Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how minor you might think they are. Some questions to consider:

    * What type of breast cancer do I have? How does this affect my treatment options and prognosis?
    * Has my cancer spread to lymph nodes or internal organs?
    * What is the stage of my cancer and how does it affect my treatment options and prognosis?
    * Are there other tests that need to be done before we can decide on treatment?
    * Should I consider genetic testing?
    * Should I think about taking part in a clinical trial?
    * What treatments are appropriate for me? What do you recommend? Why?
    * What are the risks and side effects that I should expect?
    * How effective will breast reconstruction surgery be if I need or want it?
    * What are the pros and cons of having it done right away or waiting until later?
    * What will my breasts look and feel like after my treatment? Will I have normal sensation in them?
    * How long will treatment last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
    * What should I do to get ready for treatment?
    * Will I need a blood transfusion?
    * Should I follow a special diet or make other lifestyle changes?
    * What are the chances my cancer will come back with the treatment programs we have discussed? What would we do if that happens?
    * Will I go through menopause as a result of the treatment?
    * Will I be able to have children after my treatment?
    * What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

    Be sure to write down any questions that occur to you that are not on this list. For instance, you might want specific information about recovery times so that you can plan your work schedule. Or you may want to ask about second opinions. Taking another person and/or a tape recorder to the appointment can be helpful. Collecting copies of your medical records, pathology reports, and radiology reports may be useful in case you wish to seek a second opinion at a later time.

    Awesome
    Awesome post. This is what I used for my chemo consult. It helps ease the fear and concerns.
  • crselby
    crselby Member Posts: 441 Member
    Options
    MyTurnNow said:

    Just for my own knowledge,
    Just for my own knowledge, isn't the device inserted at the same time as the lumpectomy is done? Or, can you have surgery and get this type of radiation at a later date? Just curious. Thanks.

    for MyTurnNow
    The device can be inserted at the time of the lumpectomy OR later. My onc wanted the seroma to decrease (I had a HUGE cavity filled with fluid) so we put the start of rads 6 weeks after my surgery. Gave me time to squeeze in a little of the vacation that getting cancer had stolen from my husband and me.

    The clinical trials for brachytherapy are near the end of phase 3 (the final phase) and are showing equal effectiveness to whole breast. I am so large breasted and the tumor was so deep that I would have been crisp fried by whole breast irradiation. Why save the breast if you're going to deform it and go through all that pain? So it was an easy choice for me.

    To the 'stray cancer cells' issue: that's why brachytherapy is only appropriate for stage 0 or 1.
  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
    Options
    crselby said:

    for MyTurnNow
    The device can be inserted at the time of the lumpectomy OR later. My onc wanted the seroma to decrease (I had a HUGE cavity filled with fluid) so we put the start of rads 6 weeks after my surgery. Gave me time to squeeze in a little of the vacation that getting cancer had stolen from my husband and me.

    The clinical trials for brachytherapy are near the end of phase 3 (the final phase) and are showing equal effectiveness to whole breast. I am so large breasted and the tumor was so deep that I would have been crisp fried by whole breast irradiation. Why save the breast if you're going to deform it and go through all that pain? So it was an easy choice for me.

    To the 'stray cancer cells' issue: that's why brachytherapy is only appropriate for stage 0 or 1.

    Thanks for the
    Thanks for the clarification. I learned about this from a woman at my cancer center. She had this type of radiation and was the one that told me you could only have it at the time of your surgery. I really wasn't a candidate for it but love to gain any knowledge I can regarding killing this beast. Thanks, again.
  • NAN033
    NAN033 Member Posts: 11
    Options
    MyTurnNow said:

    Thanks for the
    Thanks for the clarification. I learned about this from a woman at my cancer center. She had this type of radiation and was the one that told me you could only have it at the time of your surgery. I really wasn't a candidate for it but love to gain any knowledge I can regarding killing this beast. Thanks, again.

    Brachytherapy
    I had this type radiation but had the pump put in the next day at the doctors office.during the surgery he inserted a balloon to hold open because I needed to have clean lymphnodes to do this kind of radiation. My biopsy's came back clean Mine is Stage 1.
  • aztec45
    aztec45 Member Posts: 757
    Options
    RE said:

    ACS QUESTIONS
    Here is what the ACS list's as possible questions you may want to ask. I highly recomment taking someone with you who can write down the answers and help you to recall what is said as it can be quite overwhelming.

    Detailed Guide: Breast Cancer
    What Should You Ask Your Doctor About Breast Cancer?

    It is important for you to have frank, open discussions with your cancer care team. Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how minor you might think they are. Some questions to consider:

    * What type of breast cancer do I have? How does this affect my treatment options and prognosis?
    * Has my cancer spread to lymph nodes or internal organs?
    * What is the stage of my cancer and how does it affect my treatment options and prognosis?
    * Are there other tests that need to be done before we can decide on treatment?
    * Should I consider genetic testing?
    * Should I think about taking part in a clinical trial?
    * What treatments are appropriate for me? What do you recommend? Why?
    * What are the risks and side effects that I should expect?
    * How effective will breast reconstruction surgery be if I need or want it?
    * What are the pros and cons of having it done right away or waiting until later?
    * What will my breasts look and feel like after my treatment? Will I have normal sensation in them?
    * How long will treatment last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
    * What should I do to get ready for treatment?
    * Will I need a blood transfusion?
    * Should I follow a special diet or make other lifestyle changes?
    * What are the chances my cancer will come back with the treatment programs we have discussed? What would we do if that happens?
    * Will I go through menopause as a result of the treatment?
    * Will I be able to have children after my treatment?
    * What type of follow-up will I need after treatment?

    Be sure to write down any questions that occur to you that are not on this list. For instance, you might want specific information about recovery times so that you can plan your work schedule. Or you may want to ask about second opinions. Taking another person and/or a tape recorder to the appointment can be helpful. Collecting copies of your medical records, pathology reports, and radiology reports may be useful in case you wish to seek a second opinion at a later time.

    Great Post
    Great post. Also we have a thread where you can ask question about radiation therapy.

    Good Luck,

    P
  • aztec45
    aztec45 Member Posts: 757
    Options
    Ritzy said:

    There is a list of questions
    There is a list of questions on the American Cancer Society page and also at the Susan B. Komen site. I had 7 weeks of rads and feel very confident that any lingering cancer cells were fried. I only got dark pink during the rads, never burnt. My hubby made everyday a treat for me, so, I didn't mind going everyday at all. And, I had the best group of techs and the best rads oncologist I could ever imagine. Your rads oncologist will explain everything to you, give you literature and ask if you can see the room and even the computers where they program your particular setup. It helped a lot just seeing all of that for me. Ask what cremes you should use and start using them on day one. Get lots of rest as rads will wear you out. I hope this helps some. Good luck!

    Sue :)

    That Was Nice
    That was nice of your hubby. Making it kind of fun everyday. You were so right. I was more tired with RADS than the chemo. I would sometimes fall asleep at 6:00 at night. Oh, and I did burn. My poor little chi-chi was black. I had to use burn cream on it to nurse back to health.

    Take care,

    P