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Radiation after Mastectomy
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Radiation after Mastectomy

I am almost done my Chemo and my doctors haven't told me if I need rad.  I had a mast. and all my nodes where (-)Stage 1.  My cancer was not normal for breast cancer.(spindall carc)  My question is if I need radiation why didn't they tell me when I started my treatment, and what are they aiming at if I had all the nodes removed.  How long is radiation done for.  Should the doc. give me good reasons why I need this.  I know that there is no proven benefits to rad. after a mastec. I need to go see my family this summer and don't want to disappointment them again by radiation going for a long period of time.

Bari
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Dear Bari:  Whether or not radiation therapy is recommended depends on several factors, the size of the tumor, the location of the tumor, the pathology, the margins, and whether or not lymph nodes are involved. In most cases, a stage 1 cancer, treated with mastectomy would not require radiation.  But there are situations that would suggest that radiation therapy would have benefit and there are studies that demonstrate this in those circumstances.  The general goal of radiation therapy after mastectomy is to reduce local recurrence.  Radiation therapy is generally given every day (except weekends) for about 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 weeks.  The treatment itself takes only a few minutes once the initial planning is complete.  Your specific situation should be discussed with your physician.
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