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IMRT vs 3D conforming for anal cancer

Posts: 4
Joined: May 2009

I'm new to this site and not sure if it will be seen. But I'm having a difficult decision. I must decide in two days, so any help with this question would be greatly appreciated. I have anal cancer, stage 1, grade 1, well differentiated. Tumor has been removed 90%. I am getting conflicting reports on whether or not the IMRT is the best route and I do have it available to me at UCSF. It is supposed to spare the surrounding tissue, less short term side effects, and healing is faster. Has anyone had experience with this modality?

Posts: 45
Joined: Dec 2008

I had this radiation last fall at Mem Sloan Kettering and it worked along with chemo to get rid of my anal tumor. I do recommend it as it has less side effects than traditional radio and spares much of the surrounding tissue from damage.

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I just finished 28 rounds of IMRT pelvic radiation yesterday for a rare form of uterine cancer (UPSC) and strongly recommend it over conventional radiation. IMRT is computer controlled and customized based on your CT-scans, with daily Xrays to 'line you up' before the treatment starts. It pulls back the radiotherapy rays as it passes over un-involved soft tissue and large marrow-producing bones, protecting the rest of your body from 'friendly fire' consequences, and circles your body in order to 'fractionate' the dosage to make it easier to tolerate. I met a number of people willing to drive several hours to get IMRT over the radiation offered at their local hospitals, and was grateful that it was available for me at my cancer center.

I had some mild diahrea throughout the 28 rounds, but nothing serious, and I had no other problems at all, and was still able to work, to go to movies with my grandkids and lunch with my friends, throughout treatment.

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