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Treatment Update - Radiation

Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2018

After 4 cycles of carbo/taxol, now my mother has been prescribed 25 doses of external radiation (5 each week, for 5 weeks) and 3 doses of internal radiation (one each week). So total 8 weeks. She has been asked -

1) Eat Bland Food

2) No milk/dairy products except curd/yogurt

3) 3 litres of water/fluid daily


I have read through the posts and found the following recommendations -

1) vitamin D 3000IU

2) Fish Oil

3) Vitamin E

4) Probiotics


What else? Has anyone tried collagen supplements for faster tissue regrowth?

Any other advice?

NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 2939
Joined: Mar 2013

BNT, I had both external (25) and brachytherapy (3).  I had slight digestive issues at the beginning of radiation and then, luckily, it kind of stopped when I really hadn't changed my diet too much.  I know avoided spicy food, and I like that, but I tried to keep it "simple" and kept up the protien. 

I think because I had IMRT for my external radiation I did not experience any radiation burns on my skin, but I did put Eucerin on my abdomen anyhow.  With internal radiation it is a little different.  She will (should) be given dialators for after she completes that treatment.  They are often referred to as "candlesticks" here because they are a hard piece of plastic.  She would be told to use them 3 times a week for 10 minutes a day.  One of the lovely women here recommended using it every day for 10 minutes, and that is the route I followed.  It WAS difficult at first, but it takes work.  (As I said years ago, TSA did ask "what is that?" once when I went through security and I told him I had uterine cancer!)

I have been taking probiotics before radiation, and I was shown a study by a dietician I met with during radiation, that showed how the use of them greatly reduced terrible side effects from dehydration because of diarrhea.  The study was dramatic, graphic, but dramatic.

I have been taking D3 (5000IU), along with calcium, a multivitamin, and Occuvite for my eyes.  Everyone has to do what they think is best for them, but I am a huge fan of the probiotics.

Sorry for all of you have read my comments before.  I think there is a thread about:  Let's talk about radiation.  If I can find it I will edit my post and add the link.

Here is the link:  https://csn.cancer.org/node/296985

Donna Faye's picture
Donna Faye
Posts: 430
Joined: Jan 2017

I was diagnosed in 2017 as a uspc 1A so just had 3 carbo/toxol and 4 internal rads. Had a recurance in 2018 - tiny on vaginal wall but doc decided to do 25 external pelvic and 5 more internal. I am 78 but in good physical shape. I was fine for 2 weeks but by the 3rd week, I lived on Imodium - 6 a day. I ate nothing but the BRAT diet until 3 weekd after radiation stopped. I took No Time for Cancer's advice on probiotics and began Activa daily. It has been 6 mos. since last rad and I am almost as good as before, but have to be very careful what I eat. Dairy, which had never bothered me before, can do a number on me - especially cheese. I only eat to keep my body fed and active as have no appetite. Gas pains can be terrible so have to be careful. I took no other supplement except B12 and 6 for  neuropathy. I do drink Ensure to be sure I have the vitamins needed. I am still NED so worth the ordeal we endure. I also wore Depends after the 3rd week as bladder and bowel were hard to control. Now out of thoseFoot in Mouth  Just got my dialator at check last week as wall was closed - ouch!  Otherwise, all good.

Posts: 356
Joined: Feb 2004

I would recommend that you and your mom talk to her radiation oncologist about any supplements she is thinking about taking during radiation treatment.  For many years, there have been concerns that antioxident supplements such as Vitamins C and E, among many others, may interfere with radiation treatment.  See:  https://www.oncolink.org/cancer-treatment/radiation/support/supplement-use-during-radiation-therapy.  While the research is somewhat conflicting, I believe many doctors discourage antioxident supplementation during radiation treatments.  Just to be safe, therefore, I would make sure that your mom's radiation oncologist does not have a problem with whatever she plans to take during radiation treatment. 

Best of luck to your mom. 


derMaus's picture
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

Good point: one needs to be leery of antioxidants while undergoing radiation. I've had three separate rounds - four if you count the bracytherapy - and my radiation oncologist had me stop all antioxidants for each one. That included vitamin C, CoQ10, and several other things. 

NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 2939
Joined: Mar 2013

You all made me think of what else I wanted to add.  I did get pink showing up on the end of the dialator.  I did go back and see the doctor and the oncologist I worked with said she saw it was because of a radiation burn.  I thought about that for awhile.  Radiation burns don't heal quickly, and she did say she has seen worse, but for me it has gotten less over the years.  Also, I will add that after six years of using the dilators every day, I don't need to do it at that frequency anymore.   

Soup52's picture
Posts: 906
Joined: Jan 2016

I went to an extreme diet change during radiation and had the opposite effect with constipation which I continue to have. Probably my problems were brought about by other things such as adhesions from numerous abdominal surgeries. I, just saying you may not want to go to a real extreme with diet change.

Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2018

Thanks for sharing!!

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