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Has anyone had to use special breathing during radiation due to the heart being too close to the treatment area? What was it like?

beth horowitz Profile
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anonymous

Learning About Breast Cancer almost 8 years
 
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    anonymous
    Survivor since 2012
    I'm a left- breast cancer patient and had radiation to that breast. Knew about risks to heart but the only special breathing techniques I'm aware of are in studies. I was to breath normally so as not to move my chest outside the markers.
    almost 8 years Flag
    • beth horowitz Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Jo, Thanks for writing. I was told I am in the 10% where they can't really avoid the heart, so I will have to learn special breathing. It's still at least another week before I start, so I thought I'd see if anyone else had to do this. Hope...

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      Jo, Thanks for writing. I was told I am in the 10% where they can't really avoid the heart, so I will have to learn special breathing. It's still at least another week before I start, so I thought I'd see if anyone else had to do this. Hope all is well with you.

      almost 8 years Flag
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      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hey, Beth. What I'm about to say is not intended to cause doubt in your treatment plan. The rads caught the lower left tip of my heart as best i can remember. I have a 10% greater chance of heart attack 10 years down the road. I'll be 63 in...

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      Hey, Beth. What I'm about to say is not intended to cause doubt in your treatment plan. The rads caught the lower left tip of my heart as best i can remember. I have a 10% greater chance of heart attack 10 years down the road. I'll be 63 in September and I told the doctor at 73 I would take my chances. My mom had inoperable heart disease and no circirculation in her legs. She passed away with lung cancer due to smoking and her old ticker held out with a steady strong beat until her last breath. I tell you this story to encourage to let your doctors guide you through this difficult maze. It does sound like you have a more difficult location for rads but cancer is unforgiving and doesn't take any prisoners when given the chance.Get a second opinion if you need too in order to have peace of mind with the procedure. My doctor was 10 years younger than me, a quadruple by-pass patient and told me if it were his breast,even with his heart problems , he would get on the table. I would have a 40% chance of cancer recurrence without it so I took the 10 % chance with possible heart problems. It can all be scary and overwhelming but there are so many options to save us and give us a long healthy life. "Take a good breath" takes on a whole new definition for you, but really, practice that breathing and holding your breath if need be, then try out for the swim team in the next summer olympics. :-D Please, stay in touch. Really interested in how the process works. God Bless. Our hearts are stronger than we can imagine. Jo

      almost 8 years Flag

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