I am having a lot of pain in my breast and pectoral muscle from radiation. I talked with the radiation dr. about it and he told me just to take some advil. Has anyone else ever had this problem? I am a hair stylist and I am sure that irritates it further. I am thinking about stopping the treatments because the pain is so bad. I do not have breast cancer, just DCIS with clear margins. Thanks
Dear adrianne5, Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) is non-invasive breast cancer meaning that cancer cells inside the ducts have not spread through the walls of the ducts into the fatty tissue of the breast. Untreated DCIS greatly increases the risk of invasive breast cancer. The recommended treatment of DCIS often includes the use of radiation therapy following lumpectomy in order to treat the remaining breast tissue. Pain at the site of radiation therapy is an uncommon side effect. Management of pain would begin with assessment as to time, severity, description of the pain, aggravating factors etc. You would want to further discuss with your radiation oncologist how well the management of the pain is with the recommended treatment. If the suggested pain management strategy is not helping make sure they are aware so they can reassess and advise further management strategies. You may also want to touch base with your surgeon; the pain may be from the lumpectomy itself.
May I ask why you are having the radiation? What was the nature of your DCIS? Was it dispersed over an area or concentrated? I am asking, because I had a lumpectomy for 3mm area of DCIS last year. I also had clean margins. My oncologist did not recommend any radiation due to the fact that my area of DCIS was so small. Also you cannot radiate the same area twice. So, if (god forbid) my breast cancer should return in the same breast, and I had already had radiation therapy, that would not be a treatment option.
They recomended the radiation to cut my chances of it coming back, the area was only 1/2 cm. I am only 40 and I think that had something to do with the recommendation. I talked with two different oncologists and they both recommended I do the radiation.
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