• jkg1958 jkg1958
    July 03, 2009
    Why do I have to have radiation after chemo?
    jkg1958 jkg1958
    July 03, 2009

    I was diagnoised with invasive ductual carcinoma grade III and had a lumpectomy to remove it.  The margins came back clean from the surgery.  I am having chemo treatments and herceptin for 1 year.  Shouldn't the lumpectomy and the chemo take care of the cancer?  Why do I have to have radiation also?  I have read a lot about radiation causing cancer.  It seems like this is just overkill.

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FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • PJ Hamel
    Health Guide
    July 03, 2009
    PJ Hamel
    Health Guide
    July 03, 2009

    Did you ask your doctor this question? If not, you should. There are any number of reasons to have radiation after a lumpectomy and chemo: the doctor may feel it was close enough to your chest wall it could have invaded there; or, since you won't be taking hormone therapy drugs, he/she is doing everything possible to ensure as many cancer cells as possible are wiped out. Chemo doesn't necessarily kill all the cancer cells in your body; radiation is a second-line defense. Used to be radiation sometimes caused secondary cancers; but it's so much better than it used to be, I wouldn't worry about this. My advice: do what the doctor says, or get a second opinion. Good luck - PJH


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