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MRI Results - Met in L1 vertebrae

califsue
Posts: 80
Joined: Oct 2007

Hi everyone,

I got my MRI results of my spine yesterday and the results were not what I was hoping for. It confirmed a met in my L1 vertebrae that had lit up on my PET scan.

Has anyone else had mets to the spine? My oncologist is recommending radiation. I don't have an appointment yet with a radiation oncologist to discuss what type of radiation. I was wondering if anyone else has any information.

Thank you,
Susan

johnsfo's picture
johnsfo
Posts: 47
Joined: Oct 2009

Dear Susan,

I am so sorry to hear your news. I had a recurrence in the soft tissue adjacent to the sacrum early this year and met to the bone itself (S2-S4 and surrounding tissue) in August. Initial met was treated with 6 weeks of daily radiation. The met to the bone itself was treated with cyberknife.

For me, the primary issue was pain caused by the cancer's pressure on nerve roots. Cyberknife does seem to have helped, and my CEA reduced from 60 before cyberknife treatments to 12 after.

I'd be happy to offer any more info -- either here or in private correspondence if you'd like.

Best wishes.

John

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Susan,

I have had spread to the sacrum from a local recurrence outside my lower colon/rectum. Not unlike Johns. I had 15 rounds of radiation which has helped with the pain. I'm still looking at options for what is next. Probably Erbitux to begin with.

We are a small group here. 2 or 3 others that post and probably a few lurkers.

Good luck with the radiation.

Rob; in Vancouver

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5001
Joined: Feb 2008

Susan,

I haven't been through that, but I just wanted to tell you that I'm praying for you.

*hugs*
Gail

califsue
Posts: 80
Joined: Oct 2007

I am getting conflicting opinions. My oncologist says to radiate right away while it is still small. My second opinion says to radiate only if I am experiencing pain or if my spine needs to be stablized. Otherwise, enter a clinical trial and see if it works for you.

The kicker is you cannot have any cancer treatment, radiation, chemo, etc. 4 weeks prior to entering a trial and not at all while on the trial. Of course if it gets bad while you are on the trial, you can always stop the trial and radiate.

Confused. Would radiation to the L1 vertebrae totally kill the tumor there?

Thanks,
Susan

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Here is the gist of what my radiation oncologist told me in relation to the cancer in my sacrum...

"Radiation will help relieve the pain and other effects... it does this by killing the cancer... but it doesn't usually kill it all... BUT if it does kill it all you wouldn't be the first one."

So in my case, it could kill it all, but not likely. My chemo onc wants to "mop up" with erbitux and possibly other poisons.

Have either of your opinions come from the radiation oncologist?

Thinking of you... Rob; in Vancouver

papajedi's picture
papajedi
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2009

I also have just been diagnosed with 5 spots, very small but there. They used a bone scan to detect. At this point I'm completely confused as which direction to go. My onc says she does not want to do rad now but wait until they hurt? Others have said it should be done right now to stop them intheir tracks. Can you eradicate them now by doing that? To me it seems foolish to wait.
I have no other mets in my body. I'm on folfox with avastin, does this work against to stop bone mets ? Let's try to work on this together, compare diag's ? My email is sailorsubvet@yahoo.com

Sincerely, Robert

johnsfo's picture
johnsfo
Posts: 47
Joined: Oct 2009

I had six weeks of daily radiation in March and April following the diagnosis of a tumor in the soft tissue adjacent to the sacrum. In August, a CT scan showed that the cancer had spread significantly throughout the sacrum. So Susan, the answer to your question of whether radiation kills the tumor seems to be "no" in my case, although my docs hoped that it might -- and I hope that it will "sterilize" (doc's term) your tumor if you choose this treatment.

The primary purpose of the radiation for me was to treat pain. For that, it was effective for a short time.

Radiation causes massive damage to surrounding tissue and can make subsequent surgery impossible. The cancer has spread back to my colon now and cannot be surgically removed, in part because of the radiation. Your docs may have similar concerns and that may be the reason that your doctors and Robert's are reluctant to recommend radiation.

John

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3663
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Susan,

As I told you on another post, I'm so sorry to hear about the met in your vertebrae.
My thought is "what about cyberknife?" It seems like I remember someone mentioning to you on another post/thread. As someone just mentioned here, radiation can cause problems in the surrounding tissue. Cyberknife, however, is a very, very precise type of radiation that does not have the problems like regular radiation does. If you don't already know about it, I'd google "cyberknife" right now and find out where they do it. There is a very good cyberknife center in north San Diego county in Vista- google "cyberknife Vista, CA" I wish I could remember the exact name of the place- it is right next to where I go to get my PET scans done. I know you're in Orange County and I bet they have a cyberknife center up there but, if not, the one in Vista supposedly has a more advanced machine than some of them. It would probably be about an hour drive south for you. I have been told that cyberknife can most definitely cause the tumor/met to shrivel up and completely go away.
If you want more info, I can look it up for you and find the name, name of Dr.s there, etc. PM me and let me know if you want more info on it.
I would have a problem if I were you with just waiting around "until it starts to cause pain"- why not nip it in the bud NOW?
Those are my thoughts- you take care! :)

Hugs,
Lisa

califsue
Posts: 80
Joined: Oct 2007

I am so lifted up by this board. I really appreciate all of your comments. Thank you.

I went to two different radiation oncologists and they both gave me the same recommendation due to the location of the lesion in L1. It is very close to my spinal cord and if it were to grow it could compromise my ability to walk. They said to radiate right away. I went with SBRT (stereotactic body radiation therapy) which is almost the same thing as cyberknife (thank you Lisa). I will get a CT on Monday for "mapping" purposes. It will take them the rest of the week to do the calculations. Then I will have 5 daily treatments starting the following Monday.

Together in hope,
Susan

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

I am glad you have gotten to a radiation plan so quickly. I have been using Glaxal Base as a lotion. It was recommended by one of my radiation techs. I am not familiar with the SBRT procedure.

I hope it goes well.

Rob; in Vancouver

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