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any one suffers more from radiation than chemo?

livestrong_fighter's picture
livestrong_fighter
Posts: 39
Joined: Dec 2009

I was diagnosed stage III gastric cancer last Nov and had surgery same month (85% stomach and 3 cm of esophagus). Chemo started 12/28/09 (My chemo is ECF regimen, epirubicin, cisplatin, and continuous 5-FU). and after 3 cycles of chemo (9 weeks total) and one week break with only 5-FU, I'm on radiation now for about 3 weeks (still with continous 5-FU.)

I currently experience much more "side effects" (nausea, no appetite, bad fatigue) compared with the time I had chemo only. My esophagus feels discomfort whenever I swallow, my entire stomach area feels bad too. I'm not sure if this is from radiation or could it be something else going on. (I had one endoscropy in February and doctor found no cancer from biopsy). My oncology nurses said they don't have it often that patients complain about radiation more than chemo. But this is my case.

I'm wondering if there is anyone had similar experience as I did? or partial experience?

thank you!

livestrong_fighter

livestrong_fighter's picture
livestrong_fighter
Posts: 39
Joined: Dec 2009

Forgot to mention that in february that I had another CT scan and they did not found any cancer either. Thanks for reading1

Labguy's picture
Labguy
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2008

I had IMRT radiation with chemo (radiation 5days/wk, Xeloda each day of radiation). The combination was more difficult than just chemo. My cancer was at the G/E junction with four positive lymph nodes. Since they had to irradiate a large target, I had some radiation damage to my trachea and lungs. I also had more nausea than with chmo alone. They do their best to spare the heart from exposure. It took a few weeks after I completed radiation for the symptoms to go away.

Tom

livestrong_fighter's picture
livestrong_fighter
Posts: 39
Joined: Dec 2009

Thank you for your reply, I'm glad you are doing well.

The location of my tumor is about same as yours. I am currently on IMRT radiation too and its been hard. I agree with you that the chemo+radiation is definitely a lot worse than chemo alone, but I'm still hanging on here.

thanks again!

livestrong_fighter

DJB
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2010

Tom,

Hope you have time to reply to this note --

I start Xeloda and radiation treatment next Monday -- 5 days a week -- I think for about 6 weeks.

I had about 60% of my stomach removed (adenocarcinoma (sp) ) -- and they took out 11 nodes - found indications of the cancer in 8 nodes -- felt they had good margins around the tumor -but due to the cells in the nodes - Chemo and radiation are part of the clean up. My surgery was 5 weeks ago -- and I am doing well after that -

SO my question -- can you offer me any advice - sounds like you have been there -- The Doc says that it is an individual thing -- everyone is different - but I will take all the advice I can get -- especially from a guy with experience - (e.g. -- someone told me to take the anti nausea medicine -- even if I feel like I don't need it - because if you do need it, it may be too late to get it into your system to help -- sounds like good advice)

Also - after the radiation is done - Doc plans to do i-v chemo for some period of time - is that your experience as well --

Thanks

Dave

DJB
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2010

Dear Labguy,
I have had the same treatment - and finished the radiation last week - and a break in the Chemo as well -
but I am still kinda hurting in the belly and some nausea - when did you symptoms ease up - it has been a week -- just hoping that when I begin my next program of I-V 5fu that the stomach will get a break -
It's been like three kicks to the mid section - surgery - oral chemo - and radiation-

Any advice would really be great -

DJB

mother23
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2010

How are you now after completing radiation and chemo? Hope you are doing well!

livestrong_fighter's picture
livestrong_fighter
Posts: 39
Joined: Dec 2009

Busy enjoying everyday! Life is good!

mother23
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2010

So glad to hear you are doing so well. I've been following your story as well as Labguy's. You have such helpful information and an attitude that can't be beat! Your story is very similar to my family member's story so please keep us posted after your next few doctor's appointments. You provide a lot of HOPE! Btw-- what is a mediport? Was that for your IV chemo treatment? why would they leave it in so long if it wasn't still being used? Thanks again!

livestrong_fighter's picture
livestrong_fighter
Posts: 39
Joined: Dec 2009

Mediport is for my IV, it hasn't been in use only from the time I finished my chemo, i.e., it wasn't that long time ago.

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