I will be starting radiation end of April. They will be radiating the left breast right back to the chest wall. I’m concerned for any long term effects on my heart. Has anyone has this type of radiation?
Kimberly I'm currently in research-mode on this too. I learned today that I will be having radiation and the surgeon did say there are risks to both lung and heart given the location. She indicated they are rare, and longer-term - but worth some research. I'm not scheduled for my lumpectomy until May 2nd, so still have an opportunity to change to a mastectomy if I feel uneasy about the impact of radiation.
I'm new to the boards, so if you get some interesting info can you tag me?
Noticed a dimple on self-exam - March 8/2019
Mammogram & Ultrasound - March 12/2019
Core Needle Biopsy - April 2/2019
Diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma - April 11/2019
Quite a few ladies on this site have had radiation on left side of chest and I believe there is a breathing technique used during radiation treatment to "push" the heart away from the line of fire for lack of a better way of putting it. Kims1961 used this technique, I believe.
DimplesIDC .. Wishing you all the best in your decision, and in your surgery on May 2nd!
They coached me through deep breathing - had to hold my breath for 20 seconds, which I passed ok.
And they did ct scans with normal breathing and deep breathing. The deep breathing lifted my breast and lung away from my heart sufficiently, so the plan is that we’ll go with that when my rad sessions start May 7th.
This is very reassuring for me, because at 50 I really want to maintain a healthy heart - I have a dodgy heart valve and don’t want any more damage.
They have other techniques to shield the heart if the deep breathing doesn’t work.
And while it’s called deep breathing, it wasn’t very ‘deep’!
I had radiation last July on my left side...as I had already had bilateral mastectomy but margins weren’t clear.
My RO suggested I do radiation using the “ABC” apparatus . ABC stands for Alternate Breathing Coordinator...in simple terms it is like a snorkel where you hold your breath while they radiate the area. This method tries to minimize any possible damage to the heart. Not all centres offer this but definitely worth asking if this method would be helpful in your situation Feel free to ask me any questions about it