Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,840
Registered: ‎01-13-2012

I will be ready for radiation treatments for stage one BC in a few weeks.  My options are the standard 6 week / 5day or 3 week/ 5 day.  Both have similar outcomes but fewer skin/breast side effects with the 3 week course.  My radiologist said that in Europe and Canada the more standard treatment is 3 week.  The US seems to have remained more conventional with the 6 week.  I would like opinions and if anyone has done the 3 week tell me about it!


Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,414
Registered: ‎05-13-2010

Re: Radiation for breast cancer

@bargainsgirl  Wishing you the very best with your treatments.  Stay positive - this is the best medicine throughout your ordeal. 


It always seems like Europe & Canada are ahead of us here in many ways of treatments and cures.  This is what I also understood from DH's cancer a few years ago.  His lead oncol is Egyptian and studied/spent time in Europe.  He continues to always keep up with research there too.  I got the impression he missed being there.


Prayers to you and to your team.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,570
Registered: ‎09-13-2012

Re: Radiation for breast cancer

I have no idea which is best, but my question for the doctor would be whether there is a solid, large body of research to indicate three weeks sre enough.  What is the downside of going with the six?  Best of luck.  It's great that this was caught early.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,892
Registered: ‎07-03-2013

Re: Radiation for breast cancer

I'd be worried that three weeks wasn't enough.  I had five and a half weeks for uterine cancer.  Go over to the cancer thread in the wellness forum and ask.  There are a number of woman there that have been through breast cancer with radiation.  Best wishes to you.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,955
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Radiation for breast cancer

My very dear friend has recently finished treatment after a difficult course of surgery, chemo, and radiation.


I'm sorry but I cannot recall for sure, but I believe her radiation was 6 or 8 weeks.


I hope your care is every bit as successful as hers was!

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 103
Registered: ‎03-27-2010

Re: Radiation for breast cancer

My spouse was treated for Breast Cancer in 2012. She found the organization SHARE very helpful. You can call them, and they will connect you with one of their voluteers who has had similar diagnosis / treatment as you have. The info and support from one cancer patient to another is so special and valuable, nobody else really knows what it feels like to be in this situation.

Wishing you a lot of strength, love and good recovery.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎02-22-2011

Re: Radiation for breast cancer

My understanding is that you basically receive the same amount of radiation, just in a shorter period of time and that not all radiation patients are candidates for the shorter course, depending on location of cancer that was removed and size of the patients remaining breast tissue. Have you asked your radiation oncologist what he/she would recommend if this was his/her family member? Wishing you the very best as you embark on this phase of your journey.  I am an 11 yr survivor, diagnosed in my early 30's. I had mastectomy, chemo, radiation and endocrine therapy. I received 6.5 weeks of radiation treatment which was, by far, nothing compared to my chemo. I experienced some local skin reaction, like a sun burn and utilized appropriate creams as advised by my radiation team. Good skin care is very important. Ask your radiation nurse what they recommend, even before treatment begins. If any issues arise during treatment, they will advise you what to use. Make sure you use only what they recommend. Aquaphor is great for basic moisturization. Remember to NOT apply skin care before going for treatment. 

This soon shall pass, just not soon enough. GOD is GREAT and shall carry you through this challenging time!! Sending prayers and blessings your way! 



Posts: 68
Registered: ‎06-26-2010

Re: Radiation for breast cancer



Let me start by adding my best wishes and healing thoughts to you!


I also had stage one BC and received radiation.  I am with Kaiser and they fairly recently added the 3 week (actually I had 19 treatments) regimen.  They are very slow to add a regimen unless they feel it has been tested and proven effective over a very long period of time.


My treatment was 14 or 15 "regular" treatments and then  the remaining treatments were a "burst" (I think that's what they called it - maybe a "blast").  It was a higher dose, directed at the original site. 


We read up on it and it seems that it is becoming the preferable radiation protocol when possible - faster, fewer side effects.

I didn't have any burn issues but, I developed an unbelievably itchy rash that started the last day of treatment and lasted about 2 weeks.  They gave me a prescription cream for it which didn't do that much but, I found that Tylenol actually helped.


Best of luck to you!  It is very scary but it sounds like the worst is behind you.  The radiation is really a piece of cake - it is SO fast.  I think I would be in and out in about 4 to 7 minutes, including going into the dressing room, changing into a gown, receiving the treatment, getting dressed!


Best of luck to you!  If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to share my experience.


Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,354
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Radiation for breast cancer

I just completed 40 tx of radaition for stage 1 grade 2 bc. The last week was tougher but the dressings for wound management helped. It's been 1 month and you cant tell I had radiation. I have fair, sensitive skin.


Best of luck and take it easy. Radiation can be tiring.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 926
Registered: ‎07-02-2014

Re: Radiation for breast cancer

I was told I was a borderline candidate for the 3week radiation treatments and the doctor would decide after more tests. I told her I didn't like the fact that she said borderline so I wanted the whole 6 1/2 week treatment program no matter what other tests revealed. She agreed and never mentioned it again. It does have to do with the size of your breasts among other considerations. I didn't want to make a mistake and have to go through this again! That was my comfort zone. I was exhausted and burned during radiation.I worked through most of it til one area of my breast became seriously burned. But medication and soft cloths covering the area cleared it up. Make your decision based on your doctors recommendations and your personal comfort zone. Em