Radiation therapy

Transcript

And then we had to decide about the radiation. They said that I should have radiation both in the breast area and up here but I wasn’t very keen about this and I wasn’t very keen about going for 5 weeks every day. So I started to do some research about the need or not need for radiation in the case of mastectomy, because a lot of the current research is on breast conserving surgery, where they always do radiation. And I wrote to some doctors in the United States and I wrote to the surgeon who invented my procedure, and none of them seemed to think that I should have radiation and my surgeon didn’t think I needed radiation. So then I sent the papers and my summary to the radiation oncologist saying, “We have an appointment coming up but this is what I think and I thought maybe you should see me, about my surgery and stuff before.” And he wrote back to me, he said, “Yeah,that makes sense but there are these two recent studies,” and he gave me the names of the studies, “That would indicate that doing radiation even for mastectomy patients is worthwhile so why don’t you look into these and then we’ll chat when we meet.”  

So I found yet a third PowerPoint presentation, not mine this time but one made by a radiation oncologist in the United Kingdom that actually walked through these two studies and came up with her summary of what the situation was and actually her summary would also say I shouldn’t have radiation. But we talked for over an hour and we went through every study and we looked at whether it applied to my situation or not and finally I said, “Well could we come to a compromise and only do the upper part and just leave the, what I call the baby bears because it’s the Goldilocks mastectomy, alone?” Because no one knew what radiation would do to these guys, and really, if you have radiation on the nodes,  if there’s anything that’s reached these nodes the idea is to zap it. And he said, “Well since you’ve already gone on this strange path so far why not we can, we can do something different for you for the radiation.” And then I said, “Well I’ve heard that sometimes you can do this in 3 weeks instead of 5 weeks, where they give you slightly more radiation per treatment.” He said, “Yeah, yeah we could do it in 3 weeks.” So that’s what we ended up doing, 3 weeks just on here and you can sort of see, it’s still a little bit red but not too much more red than this side. So it’s basically from here up to here and so far so good. I mean it’s been about almost a year now since my surgery and nothing’s come back so far. 

 

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