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Radiation?

TEH1
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2009

I am going to start radiation to my stomach in a couple of weeks and wanted to know if anyone can share expierences, has any advice or complementary treatments that have helped you get through it. Any long term side effects? I made through Chemo with little to no short term side effects, I plan to do the same with radiation. Thanks for any thoughts!

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Teh, I wish you all the best in your treatments and hope that the radiation goes as smoothly for you as the rest of the treatment went. I have heard more patients talk about chemo as being the hardest on them, radiation not so much but everyone is different, as every body is different, as every treatment is different in one way or another. Some people will have zero reactions to radiation and others have more, it just depends on so many factors. It is not a good idea to look too far ahead in long term side effects because you may never experience any and you have a lot to think about right now so just try and stick with that. When you are radiated in the stomach area you might have more nausea but then again I have known people who had their stomachs radiated and breezed right through. Try and remain positive and deal with it as it comes. We are all here for you if you want to pass anything by us. All the best in your treatments. Blessings, Blueroses

tonybear
Posts: 92
Joined: Mar 2009

i had 3 brachy radiation treatments. it is a high dosage of radiation. and then 25 sets of tomo radiation. as for me i found it best to lay down for an hour before my radiation. i was told to drink water before and after the treatments, and lots of green tea. the liquid helps flush the radiation out of the body. i was told it will take a year to get back to normal. i am working out, but i am only able to run a minute and half without walking then running again for another minute and a half. it is slow, but at least i can do this much.

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I started external pelvic radiation today, and will be getting 28 rounds between now and June 9th. If you have a choice between 4-beam or IMRT radiation, I found some research that supports fighting to get the more costly IMRT radiation, which does MUCH less long-term damage as the more conventional radiation therapy. Here's what I found:

Comparison of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) with Conventional Radiotherapy (CRT) for Treatment of Uterine Papillary Serous Carcinoma (UPSC) with Sequential Carboplatin and Paclitaxel Chemotherapy: A Toxicity Study
J. Vainshtein, S. Mutyala, N. Thawani, R. Hannan, R. Yaparpalvi, S. Kalnicki
Department of Radiation Oncology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY

Purpose/Objective(s): Uterine papillary serous carcinoma (UPSC) is an uncommon, aggressive variant of endometrial carcinoma that has a propensity for abdominal and pelvic failures and a poor response to therapy. The combination of chemotherapy with radiation therapy (RT) has improved cure rates in patients with UPSC, although with substantial acute toxicity. The development of IMRT has facilitated the delivery of radiation to tumor while sparing normal organs, allowing for good local control with the potential for reducing toxicity. Our institute has initiated a ‘‘sandwich protocol’’ for the treatment of UPSC, consisting of sequential chemotherapy both before and after RT. We herein report a comparison of the acute toxicities from IMRT and CRT in conjunction with high dose rate brachytherapy and ‘‘sandwich’’ Cisplatin or Carboplatin and Paclitaxel (CT) in the treatment of UPSC.

Materials/Methods: Between January 2000 and March 2008, 52 patients with histologically proven UPSC were accrued to the IRB approved ‘‘sandwich’’ protocol at our institution. All patients underwent surgical staging laparotomy with total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingoophorectomy, followed by sequential chemotherapy and RT. This consisted of Paclitaxel (175 mg/m2) and either Cisplatin (75 mg/m2) or Carboplatin (AUC=6.0, 6.5, 7.5) every 21 days for 3 cycles, both before and after RT. In October 2005, the protocol was amended to change the RT delivery from CRT to IMRT.

Results: The initial 24 patients were treated with CRT and the subsequent 27 patients were treated with IMRT. Two patients in each group were treated to extended paraaortic lymph node fields per protocol for lymph node involvement. All patients in the IMRT group and 20/23 pts in 3DCRT group received intracavitary HDR brachytherapy. All patients completed their prescribed course of RT. No patients in either group experienced any grade 4 toxicity. Patients treated with IMRT experienced significantly less grade 2 or greater gastrointestinal toxicity (30.4% vs. 3.7%, p = 0.007), as well as less genitourinary toxicity (8.3% vs. 0%, p = 0.13) than did those treated with CRT. No differences in hematologic or skin toxicity between treatment groups were observed.

Conclusions: Radiation in combination with sandwich CT chemotherapy for UPSC had less toxicity when delivered via IMRT compared to CRT. This difference was statistically significant for GI toxicity, and approached statistical significance for GU toxicity. The reduction in GI toxicity is of particular importance, as GI complications are a common dose limiting toxicity in UPSC patients. Further follow-up and prospective study with dose escalation is warranted.

Author Disclosure: J. Vainshtein, None; S. Mutyala, None; N. Thawani, None; R. Hannan, None; R. Yaparpalvi, None; S. Kalnicki,
None.

(http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/0360-3016/PIIS0360301608017008.pdf)

BrittaA's picture
BrittaA
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2009

Hi TEH1 - As a cancer survivor myself, I know it’s hard to find much information on getting through treatments. I started a blog, Cinco Vidas, as a resource for cancer patients, and did two recent posts on radiation – one on caring for radiation burns that often appear on your skin (http://blog.cincovidas.com/what-you-can-expect-from-radiation-treatments) and one on food to consume before radiation treatments that can help reduce skin damage (http://blog.cincovidas.com/yummy-indian-food%E2%80%A6did-you-know-it-can-reduce-skin-damage-from-radiation). Hope this helps. Love, strength and survival, Britta

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in Feb 07. I had a resection and a temporary ileosotomy. My reversal was done 10 months later. I have had alot of pain and frequency of BM's after my reversal. The radiation treatments have caused scar tissue in the rectal area and vaginal area. I regret that I had the radiation and would never consent to it again.

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I have UPSC, a rare aggressive recurrant form of Grade 3 uterine cancer. Besides 4 months of chemo infusions, I had 28 rounds of external pelvic IMRT radiation, and, so far, 2 of 3 prescribed internal vaginal bracys. I am tolerating the radiation very well, and anticipate no long-term side effects at all from my radiation. My digestion and sexual function already seem very close to normal. So please do not give up hope if you need radiation, and really have no choice. The IMRT radiation used at more progressive cancer centers shields your uninvolved organs and bones from "friendly fire" and vastly reduces that long-term side effects of treatment. ((((((Big hugs)))))) to all on this terrifying journey.

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