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external beem radiation, papillary thyroid cancer

greg314u
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2010

im going to be getting external beem radiation 5 days a week for 7 weeks. area is neck and nodes, had a reocurance on left side had neck discestion. pet scan revealed node in sternum , dr side zapping the nodes could help no more reoccurring, Can any1 give me there experience thru this, success, side effects.
Thanks greg

alapah's picture
alapah
Posts: 262
Joined: Oct 2009

i had papillary thyca that was unencapsulated and had adhered to my trachea so i was advised to get EBR to my neck, especially the trachea. i had six weeks of radiation (5 days a week). they actually zapped from just below my jaw line down the sternum to get the trachea as much as possible. they administered lesser doses to the tissue in the surrounding area.

the worst parts for me were: 1)the start of it all - getting used to the tightness of the mask and being bolted to the table, and 2) the difficulty eating and drinking that came on for me about half way through. the esophagus gets zapped so it makes it tough to swallow after a while. i was fortunate to make it through without the need for a feeding tube but i was prepared mentally for that if i did need it. water was torture to drink - i drank a lot of milk. i also ended up eating protein laden foods as much as possible. by the end i was surviving on ice cream and whipped cream. the docs felt whatever worked was ok. you should eat anything you want in the starting weeks. i met a woman getting EBR to the neck for a different cancer right before i started and that was the main advice she gave me! my skin also got very red though never broke down or got sores or rawness. i was given some sort of petroleum coated pads for my skin but i had a bad reaction to them so we stopped that and i was given a prescription for Silvedene instead. that worked great for me. i also was instructed to apply pads soaked in vinegar solution to the skin on my neck. that helped too. aloe was very good in the first few weeks. it took me a few weeks to recover once it was all done. i celebrated that first sandwich after treatment - but it was weeks after.

folks on head and neck cancer message boards also have a lot of experience and advice for EBR to the neck. i found only a few thyca patients online myself who had had EBR. It is definitely a challenge but doable. i wish you the very best. feel free to reply or message me if you have more questions. i'm on a road trip now with sporadic connectivity but i'll check into this board whenever i can.
eileen

alapah's picture
alapah
Posts: 262
Joined: Oct 2009

to dull the pain and make it easier to eat and drink i started off using cepacol but that didn't work so well after a while. the docs then gave me a prescription for something called Capitol which is a liquid pain killer that contains codeine. taking a dose 40 mins or so before eating did help and i used it to regulate the pain outside of mealtimes. the catch 22 is that codeine tends to mess with your guts and requires that you hydrate more - which can be tough when you're taking it for throat pain in the first place.

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