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Questions about Radiation Therapy.
|Asked||Publicly Submitted Question|
|3/24/2012||My next step is radiation therapy after recently being diagnosed with IDC, Stage One, after a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy (negative). The problem is that I have implants and am wondering how radiation will affect them. My surgeon is of the opinion it would be difficult, my plastic surgeon says to go ahead and worry about them later. From my online research, it appears my odds of recurrence of BC go up without radiation.What would you recommend? |
Thanks so much for your response and answer to a previous question about a seroma. Very helpful site, will be making a donation.
|Replied||JHU's Breast Center Reply|
|3/24/2012||Thanks for turning to us with your questions. We are honored and humbled to hear from so many people from around the world. Indeed, radiation and breast implants do not always 'play nice'. The radiation can effect the implant by changing its size, and the feel, as well as that of the breast tissue. There is a capsule that forms around the implant, that can/will contract with radition, contorting the breast and hardening the implant. Patients with breast augmentation implants have an increased risk of developing capsular fibrosis after breast radiation. The changes associated with radiation-induced fibrosis develop over time and are not immediately evident. The implant may become fixed and uncomfortable, and the cosmetic appearance is compromised. We know you elected breast conserving therapy (lumpectomy) but you could, as an information/fact finding mission|
consider a formal consultation with a breast plastic reconstructive surgeon, to discuss options, such as possibly, a skin-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, and thus avoid the need for radiation. We regularly perform such surgeries with excellent cosmetic results. A downside of this approach is that patients risk losing nipple sensitivity.
Consider formal consultation with a breast radiation oncologist as well, for recommendations on radaition tx with inplant in place, as well as types of radiation. Hope this helps, and best wishes!
Please note: This service is not intended to provide primary medical advice concerning specific medical care or treatment. Ask an Expert is a free service operated by health care professionals at the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center. Due to the volume of questions and their complexity, there are times when medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists or oncology nurses are consulted for their input. These individuals volunteer their time for this service and will respond as soon as they are able. Please do not post or send the same question to us in multiple locations or categories.