What is Radiation Treatment Like?

What Is Radiation Treatment like for Breast Cancer Patients?

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Have you recently been diagnosed with breast cancer? If so, you may be assessing your treatment options. There are a variety of breast cancer treatments available to you including one of the oldest and most common options, radiation therapy.

Despite radiation treatment’s popularity, most breast cancer patients have no idea what to expect. Concerned patients often ask, “How long will radiation take” and “Will radiation hurt?”

In this video, Radiation Oncologist Dr. Afshin Forouzannia, addresses breast cancer patients’ common concerns about what radiation is really like. For a more detailed understanding of what radiation encompasses, watch “How Does Radiation for Breast Cancer Work?


Afshin Forouzannia:  I am often asked by my patients, what’s my daily routine during the radiation treatments, what does the treatment they encounter is, so let me walk you through what the patient experiences as they come in for their daily treatment.

Just to give you an example of what a patient’s daily experience is.  In our clinic, the patient initially checks in and goes in to the dressing room.  They change into a gown.  They wait under a waiting area till the patient ahead of them has completed their treatment and the therapist will call them in and take them into the treatment.  The patient just lies down on the treatment table, the machine comes on and off and moves around.

The patient does not feel anything, see anything, no IVs, no medication.  They are in the room usually about 10 or 15 minutes.  The radiation itself is on for a minute or so and they can walk right in and get the treatment.  They walk right out.  The patients can drive themselves to and from treatments, so overall it’s a fairly straightforward process.  After they are done, they obviously change and they leave, so in total they are probably in our department anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, 10 to 15 minutes in the room with the radiation itself taking only about a minute or so.