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Internal Radiation Therapy

decker51
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

I just had a complete hysterectomy and was diagnosed with Stage 1B endometrial cancer. My doctor has recommended internal radiation treatments. Anyone out there had such treatments? Can you tell me what side effects you felt and how intense they were? Were you able to keep working? Any tips you can offer as to diet or ways to keep comfortable? Are there certain things you wished you had known before you started the treatments? Also, how did your employers react after you broke the news of your cancer? If you had to do it over again, would you tell them?

motahal
Posts: 24
Joined: Mar 2003

Decker, I too had stage 1b, grade 2 endometrial cancer dx in 2/02. Following complete hysterectomy, i had 25 external pelvic rads and 1 internal. My internal was only for 24 hours. I had more side-effects from the external rads. How many treatments are they recommending? The internal treatment was not bad, I was out for the insertion, then had to lie still for 24 hrs., that was the hardest part. I work for county government & my employer was awesome during surgery, recovery, and radiation. Would have been hard to get thru those 3 months without telling them. Rad made me very tired so I only worked half days for the 5 weeks. If you have any questions, I'll be happy to try and answer them for you. Good luck to you! I will be 1 year cancer free on May 15th, see what you have to look forward too! You can do this, the surgery was definitely the worst part!

Mary

decker51
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

Mary, my doctor is recommending three internal treatments of high dose radiation -- one treatment every week. He said that the implant would be in for about 10 minutes, however I haven't seen the radiation oncologist yet. (Still have to heal up first). The oncologist will make the final decision about the treatment. My surgeon told me that I wouldn't be under anesthesia during the procedure, though I could request something to help relax. I'm not crazy about getting radiation, but my concern is whether three treatments will be enough. I'm hoping that I'll be able to continue working through the radiation treatments -- get the treatment early in the morning and go to work that day, but I don't know if that's realistic. Congratulations on your one-year anniversary. And many, many more to you. Decker

motahal
Posts: 24
Joined: Mar 2003

Decker, I never heard of the ten minute implants. Why did they not recommend external pelvic radiation? I'm just curious. If you are not comfortable with their recommendation of the 3 internal implants, then take your path report to another dr. for a second opinion. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with the recommendations that your rad/onc is making, so if you're not, then seek another opinion. When do they want to start the treatments? I wish you the best, and I am sure everything will turn out fine for you like it did for me.

Mary

kdeboer43
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2003

Decker, I was diagnosed with stage 1B uterine cancer also. I had a total hysterectomy on August 11th, 2003. About 3 weeks after surgery, my gyn/surgeon told me the results of the pathology report. He didn't tell me earlier because I was under a terrible amount of stress, so he waited for things to settle down a bit before telling me. He recommended radiation. Like you, 3 treatments of internal radiation, one treatment a week. How did everything go for you? Can you share your experience with me? I go to the cancer center tomorrow morning for the fitting for the temporary radiation tube. Thanks, Karen

CMelcher
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2003

I, too, was diagnoised with Stage 1C endometrial cancer and finshed my radiation therapy yestarday (12 weeks to the day of my diagnosis). I had five weeks of external rad treatments and three remote brachtherapy treatments. The brachtherapy was not the most pleasant experience I've been through. However, I had the most remarkable team of professionals working with me that it made the process more comfortable. The first treamtment is the longest--they take x-rays, etc. The last two take about 10 mins. I did not work--the treatments tired me out. Drink lots of fluids to avoid infections! I got lazy and ended up with a yeast infection 2 days before I was finished! Good luck!

Mary64
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

I was diagnosed with uterine cancer Stage IC (although it was possibly IIIC because they only tested one lymph node - only one looked abnormal - it was clean and my cancer didn't look like it was at Stage C until the detailed path was done.)

I had a hysterctomy, 6 weeks of pelvic and abdominal radiation, 3 internal brachytherapy treatments (high dose for about 2 minutes or so - the whole things took a little longer because they have to do an X ray each time), and then I just finished a four course regimine of chemo with taxol and carboplatin. The internal radiation was a little uncomfortable - but only short term (and it probably had more to do with me).

All of my doctors recommended the brachytherapy - its a way of doing internal radiation without having to stay in the hospital (read the other responses).

doctorbird
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2003

Decker, I had mine in Feb of this year and had 4 internal rad treatments. I did not have any pelvic rad. I think it has to do with the state of the lymph nodes. If the nodes are clear, then only internal rad is given. The first day is the worst since they have to plan the levels of insertion of the temporary implant. An xray is done before each dose, so ask that other parts of your body be shielded during the xray. You will feel tired and irritable. I did not work during this time because I was very fresh from the surgery and still weak. If I had to do it again, I would not tell anyone at work. Sometimes that cannot be helped since employers have to sign disability forms which must state diagnosis. Good luck and my prayers go with you.

dreamkeeper
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2003

I too am stage 1b and just started my pelvic radiation-treatment 5 today. They didn't take any lymph nodes during the surgery since they were "certain" it was "microscopic". Instead I had 45% invasion of grade 2/3. I am doing the brachytherapy after this so it is great to see that others have gotten through this!
So far, so good. A little tired. I have read that there can be significant sexual side effects (vaginal stenosis) after the brachytherapy and am fearful of that. Did anyone have any problems with "permanent" problems? Sorry to get personal but I have no one else to ask!

aminmi
Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2003

I had 29 external rad treatments and then had a 24 hr. internal treatment. Interesting to read what others have gone through. My internal treatment was awful. I was not put out or even given anything to relax me. The fitting and insertion were not pleasant at all and I had to have a urinary cath which was very difficult to insert and which became displaced resulting in my lying in urine for much of the 24 hrs. I have been through a lot of humiliating and degrading experiences during the last 15 months since my diagnosis, but so far that was the worst.

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