I am 56 years old and was diagnosed with Stage II-B breast cancer in late February 2009, invasive lobular carcinoma. I had no positive nodes and a 1 mm clear margin but had 3 tumors in my left breast, the largest being 6 cm. I had a double mastectomy and have finished 1 round out of 4 of Taxotere and Cytoxan. Doctors are recommending 6 weeks of radiation after chemo, but I'm not sure it's necessary or that I want to put my body through it, especially considering I can only have it once, and the radiation could prevent reconstruction. In addition, I have had 3 life--threatening illnesses including a brain hemorrhage due to ruptured aneurysm and a heart attack. With all that my body has been through, aren't surgery and chemo enough? Reconstruction is also important to me, and I hear that has poor outcomes after radiation. What I'm reading from some studies suggests that radiation doesn't necessarily improve survivability. Your opinion please. Thanks in advance.
If Radiation had no purpose it would not be recommended ... you are free to accept or refuse any and all treatment that is advised but refusing part of the treatment seems rather foolish to me. I think you should discuss this in detail with your Oncology team and if you don't agree with their recommendations then you should seek another opinion and change Dr.s. The reason for treatment recommendations is to give you the very best chance for survival and the very least chance of recurrance. It remains your decision though so do whatever you're comfortable with under the circumstances. Regards ....
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