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Will I need Radiation?

Looking at all cancers, approximately 60% of patients will need radiation therapy at some time during the course of their illness.

In patients with breast cancer radiation therapy is required if you have had a lumpectomy or local excision of the cancer alone, if your oncologist feels that you are at risk for a local recurrence of the cancer after mastectomy and for palliation of symptoms such as pain or uncontrolled growth of the cancer.

Patients who have had a mastectomy will need radiation therapy if their growth was large (more than 5cm), incompletely cut out or there were nodes involved under the arm as these factors make the risk of a local recurrence on the chest wall higher.

The risk of recurrence can be significantly reduced by the addition of radiation therapy.