8 Questions to Ask About Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer

There have been so many advances in radiation therapy in the past few years that choosing a therapeutic approach is not as simple as it used to be. Here are some questions that you or your parent will want to ask her oncologist when deciding on a plan of treatment.

  • Is there a risk that the radiation will damage the lungs?
  • If the tumor is in the left breast, do we need to worry about damage to the heart?
  • Would using IMRT reduce the risk of damage to the lungs, heart, or surrounding skin tissue?
  • Is the tumor in a location that can be affected by movement from breathing or digestion?
  • If so, are you considering using techniques to control or compensate for movement during radiation?
  • Do deodorant, lotion, and other products interfere with radiation therapy?
  • If so, how long before treatment should these products be avoided?
  • Will the radiation cause cosmetic damage to the skin?

Melanie Haiken

Melanie Haiken discovered how important it is to provide accurate, targeted, usable health information to people facing difficult decisions when she was health editor of Parenting magazine. See full bio

almost 4 years ago, said...

Please visit http://www.americanaci.org/ to see the truth about cancer and the cancer industry. There are many natural cures to cancer with no need for what doesn't work, Radiation and Chemo.

almost 4 years ago, said...

Why don't radiology oncologists know anything about Costocondry? (spelling),, where you can have pain that mimics heart attacks, I have had this pain for 5 years, since my radiation treatment for left breast cancerr

almost 4 years ago, said...

Radiation is a scam. There is absolutely no evidence that ever worked. Cost for operation very low, so big profits ! Radiation creates more cancer around. If you accept such a thing, you may deserve the end results . Oncologists are your worst partner. Just hope that it's a false positive. ! There is no cure for cancer and nobody is looking for a cure. Amateurs are doing much better than any oncologist.

about 4 years ago, said...

your 15 questions are actually 8, leaving me wondering if 7 have been left on the table somewhere. If you don't possess the due diligence needed to correct this huge insufficiency, even after another comment pointed this out earlier (3 yrs ago) then why are you even providing this partial info blog?

over 6 years ago, said...

Hi LUCRE*, Thanks for your comment! Glad you found the article useful. If you'd like you can post a question in our Ask & Answer section, here: (http://www.caring.com/ask). Take care! -- Emily | Community Manager

over 6 years ago, said...


about 7 years ago, said...

It would have been nice if a bit of information followed each question posed. What kinds of advancements have been made? The questions don't indicate anything about that. Plus, the questions were duplicated - making it 8 questions, not 15. I find this article of little to no use.