Radiation therapy is used as an attempt to kill any cancer cells that may have been missed during the lumpectomy. Radiation therapy is a standard follow-up treatment for any woman who has had a lumpectomy. The woman is typically scheduled to receive radiation therapy for about six weeks beginning as soon as possible after the lumpectomy, usually after the breast has been given some time to heal (about a month). Radiation therapy is given daily, with each session usually lasting a half hour or less, and does not cause any pain. Some women with small tumors may be candidates for local breast irradiation that is given twice a day for five days. Chemotherapy may be given to the woman, especially if tests reveal that the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes. The doctor may also prescribe tamoxifen (Nolvadex) or recommend hormone therapy.
I did not have the option of a lumpectomy as my tumor was too large. I also did not need radiation since the entire breast was removed. So, this is a whole different ball game. I'm trying to talk her into having her treatment down here so we can be available to help but she is so damn stubborn. I can only hope that she doesn't need chemo as chemo is HELL! I wouldn't wish chemo on my worst enemy. Strangely, I feel like I'm reliving my own diagnosis as all the fear and uncertainty came flooding back. I also don't have enough information on her diagnosis so it's hard to know how to suggest she proceed. She sees her surgeon on the 11th. Although this isn't about me, I just don't know if I can wait that long to know how to proceed because the waiting is the worst!