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Breast Cancer Haven
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Radiotherapy

I will be meeting the radiotherapy Dr next Tuesday. Can someone tell me what to expect on Tuesday and what happens when you have the treatment.

Thank you, xxx

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On Tuesday your Dr will mark up the exact position on your breast where the radiotherapy will be focussing on. They will take a series of pics. They will also make two small marks on your breast area (tattoos) to align the machine with when you start treatment, It should take 45 mins max.

Treatment itself takes approx 10 mins. You will go in, lie on a table and they will align you up with a machine. Once done they will start machine... You have to lue still... The radiotherapy itself is only a min or two. You will look lime you have sunburn, if skin turns red and itchy tell the nurses as they can gve you cream to help.

Fls a bit like a conveyor belt but nurses will be lovely. We got the same time each day and i met some realy nice people. I finished my treatment this time last year and still have signs of it but i can live with that.

Good luck with treatment.... X

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Thank you so much, that has put my mind at rest. I am so lucky not to have had chemo, did you xx

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I had chemo, lumpectomy, radiotherapy and then herceptin injections. You will be fine and it is getting rid of anything that is left. You may have some slight side effects... Main thing to remember is to keep out of sun and if it is a sunny day, when they come, use a high spf. X

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Oh poor you, do you mind telling me when that was and how much do you now worry about it developing again ? X

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I was diagnosed in June 2014 and finished treatment in October 2015. It will always be in the back of my mind but keep telling myself that other people have just as much chance of getting it than i have of it returning. If in any doubt about anything i know i can pick up the phone to the breast care nurses, they will always there for you.

Also use support centre like Maggies or Clan, you will meet some wonderful people who have gone throh similar journeys.

X

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You will probably get lined up and small pin head tattoos where they aim radiotherapy. It's all very painless and takes only a few minutes. I had 19 sessions. The skin can burn and become sensitive but luckily mines didn't. I finished mine 26th November. The area at round my Breast is just tight and sometimes uncomfortable if I stretch it or lift anything too heavy. Hope this helps x

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Thank you so much for that. Did you have chemo, I am so relieved that I don't need it xx

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Yes I had 6 session of chemo. It was very straight forward and wasn't unwell thankfully. Continued my everyday life without any problems. Hair loss was the worst but got very nice wigs. Hair back now and was back at work 6 weeks after radiotherapy finished.

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I was told that behind the scene, there are extremely clever scientists who make the necessary calculations which the machine follows in applying the treatment in the right area following the little two tattoos.

You don't feel anything, at least I didn't. You'll be given a special top to change into.

Good luck!

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Thank you for you help, this site is helping me in so many ways. I know I am very lucky because I was picked up really early through screening, I didn't even have a lump. They are pleased at the Hospital because I am proof that the screening works, hope you have a lovely Sunday x

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Hi there! You'll meet your consultant who will go through everything with you and be able to explain what it's about - write down any questions you have and take them with you. You'll then need a CT scan - the radiotherapists will make 3 tiny tattoo marks on your skin - these will be permanent, (treat them as if they are awards for going through all the treatment!) - these help the the radiotherapists line up the treatment accurately every day.

You'll go back in about 10 days to start the treatment - a really accurate plan will have been made in this time that is personalised to you. You'll need to take your top things off, but will be given a gown - if you want to take your own dressing gown, that's fine. You'll lay on a flat bead but have supports under your knees and you will need to raise the arm of the side to be treated above your head and hold this position for about 10 mins, so practice whilst you're in bed. The radiographer a will mark you up with felt tip pens everyday, if this washes off don't worry, they have the tattoos as a guide. The arm of the machine travels around the bed, you hear a click for about 30 seconds, the radiographers come back into the room, check the marks and go back out, the machine moves and clicks again and you're done!

You might start to feel tired about 10 days into treatment that can last after treatment finishes - follow your body, rest if you need to. If your skin feels itchy, this is because of the skin cells renewing quickly - your radiographers will give you some cream, or suggest you get some without perfume in to keep it moist. Most hospitals have an information sheet that that you can download form their website about radiotherapy and skin care - if they don't you'll be given this when you go to see your consultant.

It's a pain going everyday, but a really well tolerated treatment - tiredness can be the problem, but you may not even notice. Your skin may feel slightly different, a bit firmer later on - a small price to pay.

I had mine 2 years ago!

Hope you get on OK,

Good luck and keep smiling!

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Thank you so much for that detailed reply !

Everyone have been so supportive, fabulous site.

Hope you have a lovely Sunday xx

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I finished my radiotherapy 2 yrs ago after reading all the replies I totally agree with everything but for me, I have no Lymph nodes in my right arm, and by the end if my first week I was unable to lift my right arm higher than having my hand level with my ear, I found that really tough, and when I'd finished my treatment I did have some physio on it, can't remember how long it took to get full movement but it did come back, I wish you well x

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Oh dear, I have had some lymph nodes removed, not sure how many. Thanks for your help, as I have only had probably two or three out I hope I won't have a problem.

Thank you. X

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Thank you all for helping me, I feel as though I have lots of new friends and it's just what I need 😁 xx

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Radio is nothing to worry about, its more about enduring the travel and daily disruption than the treatment itself brings. Also, its reassuring to think this is making double sure the cancer is gone, so its a positive experience really, good luck.

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