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endometrial cancer

mycancer
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2013

I recently had a laproscopic abdominal hysterectomy after being diagnosed with endometrial cancer. The cancer was grade 1 stage 1A. Internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy) has been recommended. Does anyone have personal experience to share re: treatment, short and long-term side effects, etc.?

 

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 538
Joined: Jun 2012

I am so glad you found us.  Sorry cancer found you but at least it's early and low grade.  I had my brachytherapy last Oct and haven't noted any side effects, knock on wood.

NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 401
Joined: Mar 2013

That is what we are all told so I will tell you mine.  I had 25 external radiation and 3 brachytherapy - one a week.  I noticed a tremendous amount of vaginal discharge.  We all remember the "gush" you felt when we all had periods? It was a feeling like that!!  The radiologist gave me a prescription, it helped then came back after the next treatment.  The 3rd treatment I got a stronger presciption and it went away.  I was beginning to wonder if I was going to have to wear panti liners again! 

That was really the only side effect.  That was short term.  The long term are the great unknown.  I was told those could take anywhere from 2 -5 years IF they occur.  They are extremely rare, but can do without those because they do not sound good. 

I had my last brachytherapy the beginning of Oct 2012 and during my last gyno-oncologist visit in April he said he could still see signs of the radiation treatment.  That is when I told him the radiation scared me the most out of this.  Those side effects. 

Radiation can keep "working" for up to six weeks after treatment ends, an interesting fact I read somewhere, and due to the radiation to my pelvis it had quite an impact on my marrow.  I was exhausted and all the cumulative treatment delayed my last chemo for a week.  I was very lucky it was the only delay. 

Plenty of good women here!  Welcome and I am sorry we meet under these circumstances. Please ask us all anything, we are all happy to help you.

Hybridspirits's picture
Hybridspirits
Posts: 143
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi

I was diagnosed 12/2013 with Stage 1A grade 3 carcinoma.  I did get chemo as just adjunct due to the grade but also got the three internal radiation treatments. I  just finished my last one last Thursday.  While the first one might have been uncomfortable they really were not bad at all.  As far as side effects some folks have issues with their bowels for maybe a few days after.  I tended to see that for a few days exactly one week later,  No big deal. I did have after the first one extreme pain when I first urinated,  but talking to others that is normal and was only temporary. It only happened the first time.  A friend of mine here said she mitigated this by getting over the counter bladder meds for the first time and it worked.  I was told at my second appt it was from the catheter they had to use the first time to do all their measurements.

I was advised to get cranberry juice to avoid bladder infections and drink/drink and drink.  That helped.  I got real cranberry juice not from concentrate,  no sugars and also no other juices.  A little pricy for the bottle and tart but definately did the trick.

 

Another affect that they talk about is vaginal stenosis.  However, with internal radiatoin the incidences is real low, was told less than 5% of people get it versus if you had external radiation.  They will give you a dilator to use 5 weeks post the last one.  And that is no big deal

all in all i found this process, minmally invasive,  no big deal and worth the benefits it is suppose to provide in protecting the vaginal wall from a recurrence.

 

good luck and let me know if you have any questions

 

NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 401
Joined: Mar 2013

Hybridspirits,

Thank you for mentioning this - HOW COULD IF FORGET!  I remember asking my radiologist how long I would have to use the vaginal dialator and was told "for the rest of your life".  Two reasons, it will make sexual relations easier and less painful for the patient since there will be pelvic exams in your future. 

I told my radiologist I use it every day and he said a recent paper he read said the percentage of women using it at all was at about 40%.  He was surprised.  I just visited the gyn oncologist in April and told him every day as well. 

If you search around here you will hear a lot of women campaign to dialate every day.  I can absolutely tell when I don't use it and spend the 10 minutes to make sure I dont' have issues. 

When I first heard I had to do WHAT!!!! I thought, "this party just never ends", but it is part of who I am now. 

 

Stabler
Posts: 47
Joined: Feb 2013

I was diagnosed with cancer Dec 4th and had my hysterectomy on New Year's Eve.  I had the Davinci robotic surgery.  They removed everything including some lymph nodes.  I was grade 1 stage 1.  My gyno/oncologist told me that it was not the aggressive kind of cancer and that we caught it in the very earliest of stages.  It was all contained and only about 10% invasive.   He said I could not ask for a better result.  They said I did not need chemo or radiation.  I go every 3 months for a checkup and pap smear.  He said that they really don't think I will have a re occurrence but will check me every 3 months for 3 years and then every 6 months until I reach the 5 year mark, then it will be once a year just to make sure.   I just had my checkup and got the news today that everything is still negative.  I count my blessings and thank god everyday.  Hopefully you will only need the one treatment.  I wish you well and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

 

Debbie

 

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