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Radiation and Ovaries / Menopause

markatger's picture
markatger
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi all,

I am supposed to start radiation next week after some delay due to miscoummunication between my team of docs. My radiation oncologist asked me today if I wanted to delay the radiation treatments more so that I can have a procedure done to move my ovaries out of the radiation field.

I'm 100% sure that I don't want children, but the radiation effect on my ovaries could cause me to go into menopause early and to have hormonal problems.

I'm trying to decide whether I should have the procedure done. I am 33 yo with stage IV rectal cancer with liver metastasis. I am leaning towards not worrying about my ovaries so that I can get started with the radiation. My 20% survival rate from Stage IV cancer makes menopause seem not so important.

Anyone had this procedure done? Is it common for young women to have it done? Even if its not to preserve fertility, but just to avoid hormonal problems.

Thanks for any help,
Maria

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Maria,
I don't know much about that procedure. But I'm happy to share my own experiences with you. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer, age 44. I had radiation prior to surgery. The radiation did indeed fry my ovaries -- I went into instant menopause (never had another period, from the time I started radiation). I didn't notice any symptoms of menopause for some time (I guess when you are going through radiation, surgery, chemo, the symptoms aren't so noticeable ha!). But then I did have some symptoms -- hot flashes, some night sweats. I had many discussions with various drs about hormone replacement therapy. As you know, it is quite controversial these days. In the end, I decided (with the full support of my drs) to go on HRT for a few years -- for symptom relief and also because of the early onset of my menopause.

I can certainly understand your wish to get on with the radiation -- and perhaps to avoid another procedure. I wish you the best of luck with your decision -- as well as with your treatment and recovery.
Best wishes,
Tara

markatger's picture
markatger
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Thanks Tara for sharing your experience with me. Its really helpful. Its a hard decision for me to make this weekend. Hearing about others experience helps a lot!

Hope you are doing great today : )
Maria

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