Qustions about internal radiation vs external radiation. please help

janaes Member Posts: 799 Member

I mentioned this on my last thred and now have some questions about internal radiation.  That was the plan for me when i first started this chemo stuff. Im preparing myself to talk to my radiation doctor, but thought i would ask you guess a few questions.

Ive read that brachytherapy(intrtnal radition) targets a specific area.  My cancer was confind to my uterus.  It had not spread.  After surgery the doctors told me that no liphph nodes were involved. I remeber when visiting my radiation oncoligist in his office after i was recovered from surgery a while, talking to him about my options. At first external radiation was an option to him. After talking to him a while,  I remember my radiation oncoligist said to me that i wasnt going to be given external radiation because i had that with my past cancer and he didnt want to run out of options later if needs be.  (some thing like that any ways).  After having a tumor board they all agreed with brachytheropy. He said the day in the office if he did do external radiation it would be close to where i had it before.  It seemed like the doctor even though it might be in the same area.  Im not sure where my uterus is located.  Feel real dumb asking this but im guessing my uterus is below my belly buttton is that right?  So my cancer was touching, i believe it was the uteran wall. 

So my question is, do you guys think that is where my internal radiation will be targeted?  They got all the cancer out so i cant think as to why they would need to do the brachytherapy any where else.  Why did some of you have external radiation rather than internal?  What was the doctors porpose for that?  It sounds to me even with out having cancer in the past close to the area where the external rsdiation would be given this time, brachytherapy would kill off any extra cells in the wall where my cancer was touching. What do you guys think?  Be honest please.  My cancer had part of MMT in the cancer and i know that is an aggressive cancer. Would that have any thing to do with it with the doctors desision?


  • Kvdyson
    Kvdyson Member Posts: 790 Member
    My understanding of the difference

    Hi Janae, my understanding is that the radiation from brachytherapy does not travel as far inside the body so it's more concentrated to the walls of the vagina.

    For me, the radiation had 3 targets: 1) the surgical margins, 2) the lymph nodes that are adjacent to the margins and 3) the vaginal cuff. That made external a better choice for my circumstances.

    You may want to consider getting another opinion if you're having doubts about the recommended treatment. 

  • beccabtown
    beccabtown Member Posts: 234
    edited September 2016 #3
    My onc keeps saying that the

    My onc keeps saying that the reason for doing the internal radiation is because the vagina is a common site for recurrence; they seem to almost always do some brachy for aggressive cancers  matter the grade. Whether they also do external depends on whether there was lymph node involvement or cancer elsewhere in the pelvis. My understanding of things. 

  • rcdeman
    rcdeman Member Posts: 263 Member
    edited September 2016 #4
    From what I understand,

    From what I understand, brachytherapy is primarily done on the vaginal cuff where there is a large chance of cancer recurrence. This is due to the them removing your uterus and other parts and passing it through the vagina during hysterectomy. External radiation is something else and can be either targeted (External Beam) or for the whole pelvic region. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

  • beccabtown
    beccabtown Member Posts: 234
    edited September 2016 #5

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  • janaes
    janaes Member Posts: 799 Member
    edited September 2016 #6
    Thanks for your information

    Thanks for your information and help.  I ended up setting up an appointment with the radiation oncoligist for next week.  I told the person i was talking to on the phone that i needed some qestions answered and to know what his plan was.  I guess i will see what happens when i go.