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Decision not to have radiotherapy

18 Oct 2019 11:33

Hi there,

I was diagnosed with grade 1 invasive ductal carcinoma in August 2019.  I have had a lumpectomy and the result was that the tumour was tubular and had not spread to the lymph nodes.  The consultant told me that having a tubular turmour was the best type you could have - if that makes sense.  He also said there were clear margins around the tumour and the cancer had not spread to the sentinol node.  After such positive comments from the consultant and meeting with the radio therapy department I decided I would not have radio therapy after finding research that radiotherapy to the left breast can cause problems with the heart and lungs.  I have instead started taking Tamoxifen straight away as the tumour was estrogen positive. I have only made this decision based on having a grade 1 slow growing tubular tumour with clear margins and the likelyhood it would not spread.  If the tumour had been faster growing or ductual I would have have had radiotherapy.   I have been taking the tablet for a week now but I am worried I may have made the wrong decision to not have radiotherapy.  Is there anyone who has also made this decision? 

Decision not to have radiotherapy

18 Oct 2019 16:38 in response to SallySummer

Dear Sally

Thank you for posting.  Making decisions about treatment is always very hard, especially when there is an element of choice.  Often it is  about weighing up the pros and cons of different options in your own circumstances.  Taking into account any possible risks, both of treating and not treating, along with your own feelings a preferences. 

There is often some uncertainty about what the outcome will be for any specific individual which makes these choices especially difficult. 

To be honest I don't think you can compare your decision with anyone else on the forum as it is likely that the discussions you had with your specialist and the radiotherapy department were very specific to your circumstances and probably unlike what others will have experienced.

Probably the best thing to do if you can, is see if you can talk it through with your breast care nurse or specialist again.  Then you can be sure that you have completely understood what the knowns and unknowns are in your circumstances.

I hope this has been of help

Take care