Radiation in breast cancer

A radiotherapist is always present at the multidisciplinary consultations organised every Tuesday evening at the JYZ and helps to decide when radiotherapy is appropriate. This treatment aims to prevent the disease from recurring in the breast and thus offers the best chance of recovery.

Radiation can be used, for example, after a breast-conserving operation as a post-treatment, but also in certain cases after a mastectomy or as pain relief for painful bone metastases. Your breast surgeon/oncologist will explain the necessity of this. Do not hesitate to confide your doubts, concerns and reservations to them.

Course of radiotherapy for breast cancer

First appointment

During your first appointment at the radiotherapy department, the radiotherapist will explain the proposed treatment. During this first visit, all kinds of practical matters will be agreed, such as preferred time of therapy, possibilities of transport during the entire period, possibilities of skin protection, etc.


A few days later, you return to this department to sign off the radiation fields, the 'simulation'. This is the first step of your treatment.

The CT-SIM device allows for very precise delineation of the area of the body to be treated. To do this, the doctor and nurses use your radiological examinations in combination with the CT images from the CT-SIM machine to define the area to be treated even more precisely.

This outline will be drawn on your body. This mark will remain on your skin for the duration of the treatment.

The duration of this simulation varies from 30 minutes to one hour.

The radiation

Your treatment can begin shortly after the simulation, under the supervision of the radiotherapist. The doctor will prescribe a number of sessions for you. This depends on the nature of your injury and in no way reflects the severity of your condition.

The treatment duration is determined individually and can vary from 3 to 5 weeks, usually 5 days a week excluding weekends. The timetable agreed with you at the start of treatment is very important, both for you and for the team looking after you.

Preferably, the treatment should not be interrupted unless in agreement with the doctor. The duration may sometimes be adjusted depending on the skin reaction or other circumstances. If this is the case, it will of course be explained why. It may also be necessary to repeat the simulation. Do not worry about that. The doctor will give you the necessary explanation.

During your treatment, you will regularly discuss how things are going with your radiotherapist.

Last modified on 5 July 2022


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