Radiation Tips and Experiences

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Jennifer Mishe
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, February 21, 2008 5:15 PM
Laurita,
My onc told me the same thing.  You want the radiation to be able to have its full effect against the cancer cells, so you don't want to give the cells any further nourishment to fight with.  My doctor told me to eat a healthy well balanced diet, lots of water, but no supplements and avoid anything with lots of antioxidents.  I didn't take tamoxifen until after the radiation was completed.  I was fatigued fairly early in the process.  I took lots of naps, fortunately was not working at the time.  I did walk every day no matter how tired I felt.  Hope you have no further problems as you complete your radiation.  It will feel so good when you finish that last treatment.  My onc gives you a little graduation ceremony with a certificate and everything.  Corny I know but I was proud!  God bless you.[sm=pals.gif]
Jennifer
DCIS
lumpectomy 5/02/05
32 rad tx comp 7/07/05
tamoxifen
comp. hysterectomy 4/04/06
Paducah, KY

codetwinmom
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, February 21, 2008 6:04 PM
I asked my onc about multivitamins. He said you would have to take a very high dose of anti-oxidants for it to have an impact.  However...the skeptic in me thinks I might just back off for the 7 weeks and continue to eat a healthy diet.   Better safe than sorry!
Mona
45 years old
Stage 1/Grade 1 IDC
Lumpectomy and sentinel node removal 1/16/08
Clear margins
Start rads 2/20 (36 total, 28/8 boost), done 4/9/08
Tamoxifen and Lupron started 2/14/08
Living with NED

codetwinmom
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, February 21, 2008 6:06 PM
Trish, thanks a million!  I found somethng similar at Kohls yesterday!  I tried 3-4 different types and settled on Balis.  I will keep this handy as I only picked up 2 bras.  THANK YOU!
Mona
45 years old
Stage 1/Grade 1 IDC
Lumpectomy and sentinel node removal 1/16/08
Clear margins
Start rads 2/20 (36 total, 28/8 boost), done 4/9/08
Tamoxifen and Lupron started 2/14/08
Living with NED

Laurita60
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, February 21, 2008 6:14 PM
Thanks everyone! It is soooo great to have this thread and this website to come to for info. There are so many things I've learned here that the docs never tell you. Have a great day!
Age 47
Surgical biopsy 11/1/07,Lumpectomy 11/29/07
IDC, 1.9cm, Stage I, grade 2
Homone positive
Node neg
Onco DX 18

My2giftsRmy2girls
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, February 21, 2008 6:47 PM
My Rad Onc. said only a multi-vitamin...no need to "power up"
 
4 down...31 to go ! I feel heavy in the chest at times...
 
I am going to try that Recovery Cream by the way...Thanks !
 
Keep hydrated girls....inside and out !
 
 
Nov.19
DCIS Stage 0 grade 3
0/3 lymph node
mastectomy
Feb.18 Rads
ER- PR-
25 Rads 10 Boost

nicki
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  • Joined: 1/22/2008
RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Thursday, February 21, 2008 7:14 PM
I have been reading all of the comments and I have one question. What is a boost?? I still have 2 treatments of Taxotere left before I start radiation. What is the difference between rads and a boost??
Nicole McRae age 32
dx: Invasive ductal carcinoma 11/05/07
left breast
Stage IIIa 4.5 cm
lumpectomy and lymph node removal. 3 of 10 positive.
Her2 weekly positive
no family history

Susan
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Friday, February 22, 2008 1:44 PM
bumping up and saying YES...one week down and six to go.
Susan in TN
dx 3/05/07
IDC 3 cm.,10% DCIS/Stage IIB/T2/G2
6/9 + lymph nodes
ER+ 90%/ PR-/ HER2-
A/C,Taxotere
Simple rt. mast.
Arimidex 
Radiation
carepage:blackeyedsue

JulieS
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Friday, February 22, 2008 1:50 PM
Nicki,
A boost (some of the drs have a different name for it)  is just zeroing in on the place where the cancer was, the rest is usually raididateing the whole breast.  Not usually much different than the rest, I still layed in the same position and the raidation machine did all of the work.
Take care,
Julie S
Bothell, WA
dx 5/07 IDC
lumpectomy 6/14/07 1.5cm
er/pr + Nodes negative
finished rads 9/13
Tamoxfen 9/07- 8/09
Arimidex 8/09-

Susan
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Nicki - Friday, February 22, 2008 1:53 PM
Nicki,
My rad. onc. explained this way. They narrow down the field of radiation to a very small area where ever the tumor was. The last few treatments are directed at this spot only. All the regular treatments for me are including under my arm, for those lymph nodes, in my neck for the lymph nodes above my collar bone and right down the middle of my breasts for those lymph nodes. When I get my boosts, they will concetrate the radiation to where my original tumor was found.
Hope this helps and doesn't confuse you. Your rad. onc. may be like mine and not use the term BOOST. I think he needs lessons in how to speak rads  HA....good luck to you. HUGS.
Susan in TN
dx 3/05/07
IDC 3 cm.,10% DCIS/Stage IIB/T2/G2
6/9 + lymph nodes
ER+ 90%/ PR-/ HER2-
A/C,Taxotere
Simple rt. mast.
Arimidex 
Radiation
carepage:blackeyedsue

JulieS
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RE: Nicki - Sunday, February 24, 2008 3:23 PM
bump

Susan
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Monday, February 25, 2008 4:39 PM
It's Monday. I made my 6th trip for radiation today. I had thought the daily trips would be the drag, but FOR NOW, it is undressing and dressing 6 times a day to care for the radiated skin. GSSSS. I have to watch the clock, so I don't miss one. Run to the bathroom, undress, apply the meds and then dress again....this is getting OLD fast.
 
HUGS.
Susan in TN
dx 3/05/07
IDC 3 cm.,10% DCIS/Stage IIB/T2/G2
6/9 + lymph nodes
ER+ 90%/ PR-/ HER2-
A/C,Taxotere
Simple rt. mast.
Arimidex 
Radiation
carepage:blackeyedsue

asumner
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  • Location: Lubbock, Texas
RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:19 AM
Just dropping in, hope I have correctly posted.   I am reading on on radiation before the start of this treatment phase. I kinda know what to expect with the chemo, but it will be a new drug this time around.
ASumner Lubbock Tx            Dx 10.09.07 at 47 yrs old
BC Left 2.0cm ER+/PR+/HER2NEU Gr.2 PORT=10.18.07
3xAC= Oct-Dec'07(MICU=12/6/07)
LUMP=1.15.08 good margins 3negSLN
36RAD(28whole+8Booster)beg 2/29 end 4/24/08 4xTAXOL=2/29,3/20,4/11,5/2/08
TAMXOFIN 5yr May08 
     10-2008 hubby Dx Prost.Cancer, add caregiver to my sig....

Susan
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WELCOME asumner - Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:33 AM
I hope this thread will help you along and that once in radiation you will share your experiences with us. HUGS.
Susan in TN
dx 3/05/07
IDC 3 cm.,10% DCIS/Stage IIB/T2/G2
6/9 + lymph nodes
ER+ 90%/ PR-/ HER2-
A/C,Taxotere
Simple rt. mast.
Arimidex 
Radiation
carepage:blackeyedsue

gordon
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RE: WELCOME asumner - Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:45 AM
Source: Fox Chase Cancer Center (11-02-2006)

Risk vs. Benefit; Lymphedema Risk Greatly Increased With Added Boost of Radiation to Axillary Nodes After Lumpectomy

PHILADELPHIA
-The significant risk of developing lymphedema may outweigh the benefit
of receiving an extra boost of radiation to lymph nodes possibly
involved in early-stage breast cancer. That is the conclusion of a
study presented today at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American
Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology in Philadelphia.

Lymphedema
is an uncomfortable swelling of a limb caused by a build-up of
lymphatic fluid. This occurs when the lymph vessels are damaged and/or
nodes are removed. The disruption of lymphatic flow prevents the proper
drainage, causing a back-up of fluid. About 15-20% of women with breast
cancer who have lymph nodes removed during surgery will develop
lymphedema.

"We know radiation can increase one's risk of
developing lymphedema, so it's important to determine whether the
radiation technique or dose contributes," explained Shelly B. Hayes,
M.D., a resident in the radiation oncology department at Fox Chase
Cancer Center and lead author of the new study.

Standard therapy
for women with early-stage breast cancer calls for radiation following
a lumpectomy. The radiation field includes the whole affected breast
and some of the lymph nodes under the arm, called the axillary lymph
nodes.

Doctors may also irradiate the lymph nodes found in the
upper axilla and above the clavicle (collar bone), depending on the
number of nodes removed and the number that test positive for cancerous
cells). Sometimes, an additional dose or "boost" of radiation is added
to the axillary region.

"The reason we irradiate the lymph node
regions is to prevent recurrence of disease in those locations," Hayes
said. "When an aggressive lymph-node dissection is performed, the
utility of additional radiation is questionable. This is the subject of
some debate."

Hayes' study consisted of 2,581 women with
early-stage breast cancer treated at Fox Chase Cancer Center with
lumpectomy, axillary-node dissection and radiation between 1970 and
2005. A total of 2,174 patients (84%) were treated with radiation to
the breast alone, 221patients (8.6%) were treated to the breast and
supraclavicular lymph nodes (those above the collar bone) while 184
patients (7.1%) received an additional boost of radiation to the
axillary nodes. The median follow-up was 81 months.

"The most
striking result we found involved women who had more than four positive
lymph nodes," explained Hayes. "They were four times more likely to
develop lymphedema when treated with a boost, despite similar risks of
nodal recurrences.

"Given the increased risk of lymphedema and
the lack of evidence supporting improvements in nodal recurrences from
the boost, we should carefully consider these results before delivering
a boost to our patients," Hayes concluded.

Fox Chase Cancer
Center was founded in 1904 in Philadelphia, Pa. as the nation's first
cancer hospital. In 1974, Fox Chase became one of the first
institutions designated as a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive
Cancer Center. Fox Chase conducts basic, clinical, population and
translational research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment
of cancer; and community outreach. For more information about Fox Chase
activities, visit the Center's web site at www.fccc.edu.
 



asumner
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RE: WELCOME asumner - Tuesday, February 26, 2008 2:01 PM
regarding the Fox Chase Cancer Center posting....
My rad. onc. stated radiation applied to only effected breast and no radiation under the arm . Three sentinel nodes in the armpit were removed during lumpectomy and all were negative. The radiation boost will be targeted over the removed tumor area.  I am new at this radiation lingo.  I have only run through the simulation and will have test Xray on Thursday.  The doctor will go over the entire plan in details prior to starting the full blown daily visits. I appreciate this informative article. Counting down to my last infustion treatment on May 2, 2008.   arlene
<message edited by asumner on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 2:15 PM>
ASumner Lubbock Tx            Dx 10.09.07 at 47 yrs old
BC Left 2.0cm ER+/PR+/HER2NEU Gr.2 PORT=10.18.07
3xAC= Oct-Dec'07(MICU=12/6/07)
LUMP=1.15.08 good margins 3negSLN
36RAD(28whole+8Booster)beg 2/29 end 4/24/08 4xTAXOL=2/29,3/20,4/11,5/2/08
TAMXOFIN 5yr May08 
     10-2008 hubby Dx Prost.Cancer, add caregiver to my sig....

DianeMH
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RE: WELCOME asumner - Tuesday, February 26, 2008 4:01 PM
Susan,

I located a worksheet on the American Cancer Society site for my daughter Stacy that you might be interested in.  It is called External Radiation Side Effects Worksheet.  I added this to the 3-ring binder I have put together for Stacy.  There is a Chemotherapy Side Effects Worksheet too.  It is a way to track your symptoms and when to notify your doctor right away.

Here is the link to the External Radiation Side Effects Worksheet - http://www.cancer.org/downloads/MON/Radiation_Worksheet_to_Track_Side_Effects_042701.pdf

HTH!
Diane

Di, WA
DX 1: 9/96 - LB DCIS, lump/rads
DX 2: 5/07 - Rec LB DCIS, grade 3, unclear margins
6/07 - LB mast
7/07 - L. arm lymph.
6/08 - R. lump. benign
1/08 - Daughter, 33, dx w IDC, BRCA2+; I tested -
10/08 - Daughter R. mast

asumner
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  • Location: Lubbock, Texas
RE: WELCOME asumner - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 6:02 AM
Thanks for the link for external radiation...I will look for the link for chemo..
ASumner Lubbock Tx            Dx 10.09.07 at 47 yrs old
BC Left 2.0cm ER+/PR+/HER2NEU Gr.2 PORT=10.18.07
3xAC= Oct-Dec'07(MICU=12/6/07)
LUMP=1.15.08 good margins 3negSLN
36RAD(28whole+8Booster)beg 2/29 end 4/24/08 4xTAXOL=2/29,3/20,4/11,5/2/08
TAMXOFIN 5yr May08 
     10-2008 hubby Dx Prost.Cancer, add caregiver to my sig....

Susan
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Thanks Gordon and Diane - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 6:11 AM
This is the kind of thing that needs to be in one location for everyone to find.
I hope all of this information on this thread can help those like me, doing radiation now, and many in the future. HUGS.
Susan in TN
dx 3/05/07
IDC 3 cm.,10% DCIS/Stage IIB/T2/G2
6/9 + lymph nodes
ER+ 90%/ PR-/ HER2-
A/C,Taxotere
Simple rt. mast.
Arimidex 
Radiation
carepage:blackeyedsue

Coco
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RE: Thanks Gordon and Diane - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 2:21 PM
Hi All,  I'm back from my trip and was supposed to start rads this Monday.  The machine wasn't working so I got rescheduled for yesterday.  I had received three tattoos on my initial visit and received another three yesterday.  I had my second treatment today and received yet another tattoo.  My sister and I joked that the next time we get together we are going to play connect the dots.
Aside from getting there each morning at 7am it's a hell of a lot better than chemo.  It's too early to tell if I will have any sort of reaction but I plan to go to the gym after each treatment hopefully to ward off the fatigue that some have complained about.
I can't find the post but someone had a saying to "lube the boob" and that is going to be my motto throughout this ordeal.
I'll keep posting with any tips I get and also ask for help on any reactions I get.
Thanks again Susan for this thread.
Claudette
Age 67
DX 10/8/07
10/29/07 LUMPECTOMY RT BREAST INVASIVE DUCTAL CARCINOMA
LYMPH NODES NEG Stage 1 Grade 3
Triple negative
4 cycles of Taxotere and Cytoxan Finished 1/29/08
35 Rads finished 4/11/08
Malvern, Pa

codetwinmom
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RE: Radiation Tips and Experiences - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 3:04 PM
I have to RAVE about the Recovery Cream that CindyD posted about on page 5 of this thread.  I ordered it on Wednesday (my first day of rads) and it arrived Monday.  (THANK YOU CINDY D)[sm=hello.gif]
 
I was already starting to feel the mild sting of sunburn after day 2. I was using MiaDerm and Aquaphor samples from the onco.  I used the Recovery Cream on Monday as soon as I got home from treatment.  OMG...I felt better immediately.  I still have an ever so mild sting but it is NOT constant as it was before!  I love this stuff.  I am taking it to the onco tomorrow to get final blessing, but I will swear by it so far. 
 
5 down, 31 to go!
Mona
45 years old
Stage 1/Grade 1 IDC
Lumpectomy and sentinel node removal 1/16/08
Clear margins
Start rads 2/20 (36 total, 28/8 boost), done 4/9/08
Tamoxifen and Lupron started 2/14/08
Living with NED

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