Boost - no not the supplement

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osmotar
osmotar Member Posts: 1,006
At the end of my nightly rad treatment today, the tech said they will be doing a boost, she explained that I will have a CT scan next tues, she explained they plan to reduce the area of treatment on my neck, however the rad dosage remains the same. Additionaly the mask will be evaluated for fit, it's still as tight as it was on day one so not worried about having another one made. Sooooo, since my area of expertise is not radiation, is this reduction of treatment area a good thing? Does anyone know if it will lessen side effects? The lump I initially had on the right side of my neck was gone after my second infusion of cisplatin/taxotore/5FU so said my chemo onco, I still had the 3rd infusion. My rad onco re-stated that the lump was gone during my 1st visit to him. I still have another 17 rad treatments to go, plus 3 more infusions of carboplatin.

Linda

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  • Crazymom
    Crazymom Member Posts: 339 Member
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    boost
    Good luck. You seem to be handling it well. I go to MD Anderson Monday 5th. Tests on Tues and Wednesday...Hopefully get started soon. Ann
  • longtermsurvivor
    longtermsurvivor Member Posts: 1,842 Member
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    This is the advantage of IMRT
    less collateral damage. Pretty neat stuff, and yes, this will lessen side-effects to you considerably. I've got a great article if you're interested. I can't seem to link it here, but if you'd shoot me an email address I'll mail it to you.

    Pat

    PS Actually here it is: http://www.medicalphysics.org/apps/medicalphysicsedit/Ch_10_Ling.pdf
  • osmotar
    osmotar Member Posts: 1,006
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    Crazymom said:

    boost
    Good luck. You seem to be handling it well. I go to MD Anderson Monday 5th. Tests on Tues and Wednesday...Hopefully get started soon. Ann

    So far so good
    Hi Ann,

    So far I've had good luck with all my treatments, nothing major to speak of. Good luck back to you on your treatment protocol. Keep a good attitude and surround yourself with good people. AND ask , ask a lot of questions, I take a list with me , start any preventative measures from the get go, I think starting to use a baking soda/salt/water mixture to swish in my mouth, plus using the biotene products from the very first chemo treatment has saved me from mouth issues. See your dentist, get a good cleaning.Stay hydrated, eat well, and get plenty of rest when you feel tired. Know that this group is a wealth of knowledge, a great resource.

    Linda
  • osmotar
    osmotar Member Posts: 1,006
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    This is the advantage of IMRT
    less collateral damage. Pretty neat stuff, and yes, this will lessen side-effects to you considerably. I've got a great article if you're interested. I can't seem to link it here, but if you'd shoot me an email address I'll mail it to you.

    Pat

    PS Actually here it is: http://www.medicalphysics.org/apps/medicalphysicsedit/Ch_10_Ling.pdf

    Thanks
    Thanks for the link.
  • jtl
    jtl Member Posts: 456
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    Boost
    I thought I was going to get the boost but as it turned out it was not necessary. They were able to supply the prescribed rads to the tumor site during the regular therapy without a boost dose. The onc drew this out on piece of paper to show me how it works and yet keeps the total amount of radiation to the body in the safe range. IMRT is a huge improvement over the "older" methods and the newer technology like Tomotherapy, which is really just a refinement of IMRT is even more promising. However the problem of complete Parotid gland sparing to improve or eliminate Xerostomia is a daunting task and must be measured against insuffient doses to the target sites. As it was explained to me, there are just too many glands and structures in the neck to completely avoid all of them, so we consequently have side effects of some sort.

    Now that I am 4+ weeks post rads and chemo I can pretty much pinpoint where I got the max doseage. It is still sore in a area about the size of a silver dollar while everything else is normal. At least I feel like I have finally peaked so now it is a matter of time to heal. The last week of rads and the 1st week or two post were the worst for me, much different than what I had experienced previously which was not all that bad. Early on my ENT doc said that this is not the worst cancer you could get but the treatment may be.
    John
  • RogerRN43
    RogerRN43 Member Posts: 185
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    jtl said:

    Boost
    I thought I was going to get the boost but as it turned out it was not necessary. They were able to supply the prescribed rads to the tumor site during the regular therapy without a boost dose. The onc drew this out on piece of paper to show me how it works and yet keeps the total amount of radiation to the body in the safe range. IMRT is a huge improvement over the "older" methods and the newer technology like Tomotherapy, which is really just a refinement of IMRT is even more promising. However the problem of complete Parotid gland sparing to improve or eliminate Xerostomia is a daunting task and must be measured against insuffient doses to the target sites. As it was explained to me, there are just too many glands and structures in the neck to completely avoid all of them, so we consequently have side effects of some sort.

    Now that I am 4+ weeks post rads and chemo I can pretty much pinpoint where I got the max doseage. It is still sore in a area about the size of a silver dollar while everything else is normal. At least I feel like I have finally peaked so now it is a matter of time to heal. The last week of rads and the 1st week or two post were the worst for me, much different than what I had experienced previously which was not all that bad. Early on my ENT doc said that this is not the worst cancer you could get but the treatment may be.
    John

    Could not have been coined better...
    "not the worst cancer you could get but the treatment may be"
  • osmotar
    osmotar Member Posts: 1,006
    Options
    jtl said:

    Boost
    I thought I was going to get the boost but as it turned out it was not necessary. They were able to supply the prescribed rads to the tumor site during the regular therapy without a boost dose. The onc drew this out on piece of paper to show me how it works and yet keeps the total amount of radiation to the body in the safe range. IMRT is a huge improvement over the "older" methods and the newer technology like Tomotherapy, which is really just a refinement of IMRT is even more promising. However the problem of complete Parotid gland sparing to improve or eliminate Xerostomia is a daunting task and must be measured against insuffient doses to the target sites. As it was explained to me, there are just too many glands and structures in the neck to completely avoid all of them, so we consequently have side effects of some sort.

    Now that I am 4+ weeks post rads and chemo I can pretty much pinpoint where I got the max doseage. It is still sore in a area about the size of a silver dollar while everything else is normal. At least I feel like I have finally peaked so now it is a matter of time to heal. The last week of rads and the 1st week or two post were the worst for me, much different than what I had experienced previously which was not all that bad. Early on my ENT doc said that this is not the worst cancer you could get but the treatment may be.
    John

    Worst Treatment
    My chemo onco said this it the mother of all treatments.
  • osmotar
    osmotar Member Posts: 1,006
    Options
    jtl said:

    Boost
    I thought I was going to get the boost but as it turned out it was not necessary. They were able to supply the prescribed rads to the tumor site during the regular therapy without a boost dose. The onc drew this out on piece of paper to show me how it works and yet keeps the total amount of radiation to the body in the safe range. IMRT is a huge improvement over the "older" methods and the newer technology like Tomotherapy, which is really just a refinement of IMRT is even more promising. However the problem of complete Parotid gland sparing to improve or eliminate Xerostomia is a daunting task and must be measured against insuffient doses to the target sites. As it was explained to me, there are just too many glands and structures in the neck to completely avoid all of them, so we consequently have side effects of some sort.

    Now that I am 4+ weeks post rads and chemo I can pretty much pinpoint where I got the max doseage. It is still sore in a area about the size of a silver dollar while everything else is normal. At least I feel like I have finally peaked so now it is a matter of time to heal. The last week of rads and the 1st week or two post were the worst for me, much different than what I had experienced previously which was not all that bad. Early on my ENT doc said that this is not the worst cancer you could get but the treatment may be.
    John

    Worst Treatment
    My chemo onco said this it the mother of all treatments.
  • Kent Cass
    Kent Cass Member Posts: 1,898 Member
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    osmotar said:

    Worst Treatment
    My chemo onco said this it the mother of all treatments.

    Linda
    Marine had a very good explanation. I was supposed to get 35, but didn't, so don't be concerned about them doing too little. My first 31 rads involved 20 zappings/session, but the last 3 involved only 5 zappings, each, for a total of 34 rads. My two tumors shrunk away so that soon after my second round with the pumps one could barely feel them, and the additional rads took care of everything- and now I'm 32-months post-tx clean.

    The comparison of H&N to other C treatments had been described as the 2nd-harshest, with only Renal C being worse, though I don't like the idea of this being discussed, here, with new patients reading it. Our C is also one of the most survivable, and the C Drs do take care of us with the meds, so that suffering is kept to a minimum. Some **** and moan about the pain and suffering, but it is what it is, and that is very doable. This is C, and C is as serious as it gets, and all you gotta do is adjust your perspective to the reality that it's a matter of life and death to rightly put one's opinion of their own pain and suffering in it's proper place. No matter what, you can always find someone worse off than you, if you dare to look. I don't say this in regards to you, but rather for everyone of us to take to heart...words like paraplegic and quadraplegic come to mind, as does the terrible burn victim cases, which is truly a hellish recovery process.

    You're well on your way to getting the C kicked out of your life, and I am truly happy for you about the news that your tx is being adjusted due to your condition warranting less-extreme treatment. As we all do- you got a lot to be thankful for. It can truly be great to be alive, Linda, post-tx H&N, as you will soon be able to say.

    kcass
  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
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    Crazymom said:

    boost
    Good luck. You seem to be handling it well. I go to MD Anderson Monday 5th. Tests on Tues and Wednesday...Hopefully get started soon. Ann

    Hi Ann

    We will miss each other by a day or so, I will be there on the 8th for PET scan and the 9th for review of the test results

    Wishing you well
    Hondo
  • Jimbo55
    Jimbo55 Member Posts: 590 Member
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    Diaing It In
    Linda,

    I went through the same about the mid-point of treatment. As you progress through treatment, the tumor will shrink in size (hopefully). They will use the new info on the size of the tumor from this latest CT scan and refocus the beams of radiation to adjust for the smaller tumor mass. This is certainly a good thing since it shows that the chemo and rads are working.

    As far as lessening the side effects, it is a possibility, but at the end of the day, you are still being blasted with the rads and chemo same as before. I didn't notice any lessening of the side effects. I think the side effects are the result of the cumulative doses of rads/chemo. Chances are as long as you are undergoing treatment (and for a few weeks after) the side effects will get worse.

    Only 17 more to go Linda. Stay strong. Cheers.

    Jimbo
  • osmotar
    osmotar Member Posts: 1,006
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    Encouragment
    Thanks everyone for the encouraging words, as you said it is what it is. To me it's a wee bit of a detour.
  • sweetblood22
    sweetblood22 Member Posts: 3,228
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    I had a "neck boost" my last
    I had a "neck boost" my last week of treatment.
  • osmotar
    osmotar Member Posts: 1,006
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    I had a "neck boost" my last
    I had a "neck boost" my last week of treatment.

    Did they
    Sweets,

    Did they lessen the area of treatment and keep the same dosage of rads ?
  • sweetblood22
    sweetblood22 Member Posts: 3,228
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    osmotar said:

    Did they
    Sweets,

    Did they lessen the area of treatment and keep the same dosage of rads ?

    I was trying to find where I
    I was trying to find where I wrote that down, and I can't. I'm pretty sure that's what they did. Less stops during rads, but the same or more dosage.