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Radiation - Only 20 Sessions??

Printed From: TNBC Foundation
Category: TNBC Forums
Forum Name: Let's Talk About Radiation Therapy
Forum Description: A place to discuss Radiation Therapy
Printed Date: Jul 20 2019 at 10:24am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 -

Topic: Radiation - Only 20 Sessions??
Posted By: jakling
Subject: Radiation - Only 20 Sessions??
Date Posted: Jun 22 2015 at 12:21pm
Hi - I just went for 2 consults with 2 different doctors at Sloan Kettering and they said I only need 16 Radiation treatments and 4 boosts to the area - this is making me really nervous and I'm wondering if I should go to a different hospital. I had a 1 cm tumor - no nodes - and did a lumpectomy. I just finished ACT dose dense chemo for 4 months - which was very rough on me.

I also have LCIS which I read increases my risk of getting breast cancer. Does anyone know if this is standard or if I should try to go to a different hospital in NYC? If you think I should get a second opinion - does anyone have a recommendation for a good radiation oncologist in NY or LI? Thanks so much...

Posted By: Tamara
Date Posted: Jun 22 2015 at 9:12pm
My diagnosis very similar to yours. I am upstate so I do not have information on a good radiation oncologist but hopefully someone on the forum will be along with a recommendation for you. I elected lumpectomy, partial radiation followed by AC then weekly Taxol. Finished treatment October of 2014.
If you are feeling uncomfortable with the Dr's recommendations, definitely seek a second opinion! You are the patient and know your body best.
Keep us posted,

Posted By: jakling
Date Posted: Jun 23 2015 at 1:15pm
Thanks Tamara. So you also had 20 sessions?

Posted By: Tamara
Date Posted: Jun 23 2015 at 4:41pm
Partial radiation was 2 sessions per day for 5 days. A balloon was inserted where the tumor was removed and direct radiation to that site. Because there were no lymph nodes involved I was a candidate for it. I had never heard of it before until the radiation oncologist gave me the option.

Posted By: MomMom44
Date Posted: Jun 23 2015 at 7:52pm
Otherwise I was a candidate for partial breast rads, but my RO would not consider because of TN status. 35 rads including boosts at the end.


DX TNBC 1/14; age 66; Stage 1; Grade 2; 1.2 cm; 0/2 nodes; lumpectomy; BRAC Neg; 4 DD AC; Completed 12 weekly Taxol July 2014; Radiation August 2014

Posted By: philly
Date Posted: Jun 26 2015 at 5:24pm
Check out this recent New York Times article discussing the benefits of a shorter course of radiation." rel="nofollow -
I was treated at Penn by Dr. Gary Freedman referred to in this article, who is a strong proponent of what he calls the "Canadian Protocol."  The shorter course has been in effect and studied for years in Canada and the UK and found to be equally as effective as 35 sessions with fewer side effects.  Personally, two weeks less of going every day at 7 am for radiation saved me from added exhaustion and burning.  I was just slightly pink by the time I was done.  Dr. Freedman believes that this has not yet caught on universally because hospitals and doctors have no financial incentives to decrease the number of treatments (sick that they are profiting from our needless treatments) and insurers are hesitant to dictate fewer treatments less they be seen as dictating care.  I highly recommend this shorter course.  Here is a JAMA article on the study as well:" rel="nofollow -

Posted By: Ssam
Date Posted: Aug 15 2016 at 1:26pm
Hi everyone, I finished my 20 rads mid April 2016, and have had pins and needles/tingling in both arms ever since.  Has anyone else heard of this, or had experience of it?  I keep thinking it will pass but it is now a daily occurrence.  Maybe its unrelated, but the timing seems too coincidental. I had 5 lymph nodes removed.  Any ideas? Thanks.

Dx Dec 2015. Stage 1 Grade 2.
6mm tumour. No lymph nodes involved. No chemo. 20 rads. Age 50.

Posted By: AmyL
Date Posted: Aug 15 2016 at 2:42pm
I haven't done rads yet, but it you were just having the symptoms in the arm where the lymph nodes were removed, I would say it was the nerves that were cut during the removal. Not sure why it's happening in both arms, but I'm with you...not a big believer in coincidence, so it might be worth calling your nurse navigator, or the nurse from the radiation onc office. They might have heard of it and can tell you how long it might last.
Good luck!

Dx Dec '15, 1.1 cm, stage 1A, gr 2, TNBC, BRCA -, 1/16 lumpectomy with red/lift, 2/16 DD A/C x 4, Taxol x12, planed radiation summer '16.

Posted By: Ssam
Date Posted: Aug 15 2016 at 2:56pm
Thanks for your reply Amy, I will ask again when I see my breast care nurse.  My fingers on both hands are definitely swollen and as you say, if it was just the SLNB arm, I would attribute it to that, but its both arms, and mostly from the elbow down.  Weird!

Dx Dec 2015. Stage 1 Grade 2.
6mm tumour. No lymph nodes involved. No chemo. 20 rads. Age 50.

Posted By: gordon15
Date Posted: Aug 15 2016 at 7:02pm
I would ask to see a physical therapist, if they are available under your insurance.

wife: IDC/Lobular Stage2B 2008 lumpectomy/TAC+rads
TNBC Stage 3A/w/metaplastic/squamous Nov2015 Carboplatin-Gemzar chemo/masectomy Taxolchemo+rads 4-16
PET scan stable 9-2016/ 1-2017

Posted By: KPeace
Date Posted: Aug 15 2016 at 9:50pm
Jackling, I live in NJ. I went for my second medical oncology opinion at the Cancer Institute of NJ in New Brunswick. I considered going for a third opinion and would have gone to MSK or Penn in Philly or Northwell Health in LI. I believe you should go for as many opinions as you need to make you feel comfortable. The decisions can be overwhelming. Do what you need to do.

As for the 20 treatments, my rad onc left the decision to me. I am being treated by Dr. Ed Soffen from the Princeton Rad Onc group. I opted for the standard treatment (31). This decision was somewhat easier for me than the decision I made not to have chemo and was based on my discussion with the rad onc, my husband, and other people in my support system as I considered all of my options (chemo and rad onc).

I wish you the best as you make your decision and will be thinking of you.

5/4/16, left, stage Ia, 4 mm, grade 2, BRCA-, ER-/PR-, HER2-, neg node, lumpectomy 6/6/16, rad to start 8/8

Posted By: 123Donna
Date Posted: Aug 16 2016 at 7:54am

Shorter radiation course recommended for early-stage breast cancer patients" rel="nofollow -

DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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