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Radiation Therapy Decision

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2002

I had my hysterectomy 5 weeks ago for uterine cancer. It was stage 1b with a grade 2 cell so the future looks very bright!My GYN/ONC strongly recommends 3 treatments of vaginal radiation (internal) only. He referred me to a RAD/ONC doctor who is very neutral on this recommendation. My surgeon says I need to reach a decision within 2 weeks. I'd like to hear from (or speak with) anyone who has had the vaginal radiation regarding your experience and the side affects you experienced. Thank you!

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2003

I am new to csnetwork and just read your e-mail from 10-10-02. I am curious, did you decide to have radiation treatments? I had a sonohystogram performed today that revealed two lumps in my uterus which the doc. expects are harmless fibroids. I'm skeptical though because even though she took some tissue sample today to send to the lab, she still wants to do in/out patient surgery to remove the "fibroids" to have sent to the lab. A lot of women live unknowingly with fibroids and I'm wondering if I should wait to see what my tissue culture from today's visit reveals, before going in for surgery. Can you share with me your story of how uterine cancer was discovered?

Posts: 24
Joined: Mar 2003

I just logged on for the first time and saw your message. Did you have the radiation? I had a complete hysterectomy for uterine cancer in March, 2002, stage 1b grade 2 as well. My ONC and RAD/ONC recommended 25 external pelvic radiation treatments, as well as 1 internal treatment. I did both, and am happy to say that I am fine one year later. I think the extra "precautionary" treatment gave me peace of mind and have eliminated any thoughts that there could still be cancer cells lurking in my pelvic area/vagina. Hope all is well with you now!

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2005

Hello. I am in this exact same position, surgery was 1/18 and I have the same stage and grade tumor. Please let me know what your decision was re: radiation, and if you had it, anything you can tell me about the side effects. I hope you are doing great!

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2005

Mine was State 1c grade 2, so very similiar to yours. At first, my doctor laid out a treatment plan after surgery that included both pelvic (external) radiation (6 weeks worth) plus bracytherapy (the internal type). Being a doctoral student who was taking research at the time, I investigated studies where they compared external plus internal radiation versus internal alone for grade 1 cancers. The studies I read found no difference in outcomes for those who just have internal radiation. So I went back to my doctor, armed with the data, and I was very scared he would think I was "trying to be the doctor" But what I found was that he was very pleased I had done this and had taken some responsiblity for my treatment. He agreed with me that what I found in my research was true, and that it basically a crap shoot. You either do the big radiation now, or save it for later if something comes back. So I chose to just do the 3 treatments of internal radiation, and to save the more radical external radiation in case I need it later.
So I guess what I'm recommending is that you do some of your own searching and, if you don't like what the doctor is recommending, find out what research says about his/her recommended treatment.
As far as the treatment itself, I had very little side effects other than some fatigue. It was a little bit uncomfortable, but not very bad.

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