Back in 2007 when I had radiation for my breast cancer. I had to undergo the traditional radiation treatment which meant 37 visits spread over 7 weeks - five days a week that lasted FOREVER. I knew people online who were getting the short version and getting radiation for five days - brachytherapy - with two visits a day. I was jealous because I was (and still am) sick of going to the (damn) hospital.
I had asked at the time and was told by my radiation oncologist that they did not offer the shorter option nor did most hospitals in Boston at that time. A few years later I attended a conference where I learned they were starting to offer the shorter option as well as expanding their other services.
Now new research on women over sixty who had brachytherapy after a lumpectomy are more likely to have a mastectomy five years later. They were more likely to have treatment complications that resulted in the mastectomies.
ASTRO is considering new guidelines for who would most benefit from brachytherapy and cautionary and unsuitable criteria. The number one criteria seems to be that it is best for women over sixty.
Since I do not fit their criteria I am glad I did not get brachytherapy as it could have increased risk for mastectomy. I am not jealous any more.