SEVERE WX : Freeze Warning - Freeze Watch View Alerts

An IU Health Arnett doctor and cancer patient walk us through the cancer radiation process

This Breast Cancer Awareness Tuesday, an IU Health Arnett doctor and cancer patient, now survivor, explain the process of going through radiation.

Posted: Oct 22, 2019 6:37 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind, (WLFI) — As we enter the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, News 18 is looking into what happens at the end of the cancer recovery process. For many women, it means undergoing radiation therapy.

The cancer treatment process looks different for every patient but it often occurs in three sequences.

“Surgery first, if the woman needs chemotherapy, she'll get chemotherapy next typically and then after that, we'll give radiation treatment,” said Radiation Oncologist Dr. Estabrook. “That order can be changed, there are exceptions to that but that's a very common sequencing.”

This sequence was the case for Michelle Kyser. She was diagnosed with stage-three invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer in 2017. Her doctors say she made a good decision in deciding to remove both breasts. And now more than a year and a half cancer-free, she believes her choice in undergoing radiation was also a good choice.

“Most of the statistics were that it would give me about 10% reduced risk of recurrence and 1 in 10 was by far enough that yeah, I wanted it,” said Kyser.

Radiation is a therapy that kills cancer cells using X-Ray beams. Kyser said her symptoms were tenderness near the cancer area and feelings of fatigue. Both feelings, she was able to work through.

“It's a really quick treatment, you come in, the staff is wonderful,” said Kyser. “You go in, they get you lined up and, you know, it's about three to five minutes and you're back out the door and getting changed.”

Radiation Oncologist Doctor Neil Estabrook debunks many of the misconceptions he hears from patients.

“People believe they're going to be radioactive, that they can't be around their family members or children and things like and because this is an X-Ray, the radiation is only here when it's turned on,” said Estabrook. “The side effects are very localized so if a woman had breast cancer, for instance, she's getting radiation to her breast, she's not going to lose the hair on top of her head because of radiation treatment.”

Estabrook said tiredness and tenderness after radiation are normal and usually goes away over time.

“It can be quite fatiguing, it's real and it's usually temporary,” said Estabrook. “The nearby skin or any nearby organs that might be near the tumor that’s being treated, those tissues are all susceptible to being irritated or inflamed by radiation and the vast majority of the time those are temporary side effects.”

IU Health Arnett is using this month of awareness to remind women to get their mammograms. Doctors recommend that women with an average risk for breast cancer get a mammogram every year starting at age 40. Average risk means no family history of breast cancer or genetic abnormalities.

To schedule a same-day mammogram, call 765-448-8100 or learn more by visiting the IU Health Arnett website.

Lafayette
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 28°
Kokomo
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 24°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 32°
Lafayette
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 28°
Danville
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 24°
Frankfort
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 20°
Frankfort
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 20°
Monticello
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 24°
Monticello
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 24°
Logansport
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Snow to Two Nights of Freezing...
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 708779

Reported Deaths: 13226
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion966191721
Lake51761946
Allen39224672
Hamilton34549405
St. Joseph34157541
Elkhart27356432
Vanderburgh22081394
Tippecanoe21853212
Porter17935299
Johnson17544374
Hendricks16822310
Clark12697190
Madison12353337
Vigo12219244
Monroe11469166
LaPorte11162204
Delaware10366184
Howard9664211
Kosciusko9134114
Hancock7990139
Bartholomew7893155
Warrick7691155
Floyd7563176
Wayne6906198
Grant6844171
Boone6556100
Morgan6405138
Dubois6085117
Marshall5786108
Dearborn570376
Cass5685102
Henry5579101
Noble542683
Jackson493569
Shelby479495
Lawrence4342118
Gibson429089
Harrison428570
Clinton419753
Montgomery418086
DeKalb411184
Whitley380239
Huntington379880
Miami372865
Knox366689
Steuben365757
Putnam353160
Jasper350946
Wabash347878
Adams338052
Ripley334668
Jefferson313180
White308454
Daviess289499
Wells286481
Decatur279092
Fayette277262
Greene270785
Posey268833
Scott261153
LaGrange253670
Clay253544
Randolph235680
Washington231031
Spencer228031
Jennings225047
Fountain208845
Sullivan207942
Starke204752
Owen192356
Fulton192039
Jay186429
Carroll185920
Perry180736
Orange177853
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton161043
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130334
Pulaski113845
Newton104234
Brown100140
Crawford97614
Benton97113
Martin82915
Warren79715
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55811
Unassigned0408

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events