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Radiation Advice

ARobben's picture
Posts: 46
Joined: Apr 2009

Hello everyone!

I know I've shared bits and pieces of my story on different topics here, but just wanted to give a little background before I ask for your advice!

I was diagnosed with Stage 4 NSCLC in Dec 08. After that I underwent six round of chemo (Cisplatin/Alimta/Avastin). After three rounds, a CT scan showed some shrinkage in the tumor, but after the additional three rounds the tumor was shown to be stable, but no additional shrinkage was shown.

Somewhere during this process, I began having some throat issues. After some foods I would gag and choke and sometimes spit up. I was prescribed Nexium as I had a history of acid reflux. However, my condition continued to worsen. Eventually, a Barium Swallow test revealed that my esophagus was narrowed in one spot, which was probably causing this issue. The last PET scan I had showed that my cancer was beginning to spread once again. It had now spread to the bone in my ribs, and additionally, a lymph node was inflamed near my throat, which was pushing on my esophagus and probably causing the narrowing.

My doctor recommended radiation to deal with these new manifestations of the cancer. Last week I began receiving radiation on the rib. I believe this is just electron radiation, which I hear is not as intense as "regular" radiation therapy. Thursday, I begin my radio-therapy for my lymph node.

I know some of you hear have had experience with radiation, and was just wondering if you could give me some info about different types of radiation, or what sort of side effects I might expect and anything that helped you with those side effects.


Posts: 37
Joined: Jul 2008

my barb had a similar issue, where a lymph node in her neck became cancerous,and actually quite large,in a short amount of time.They radiated the area,and that site is inactive now, 1 year later.She had some swallowing issues,along with discomfort.The only major issue she had at that time was thrush, a nasty yeast infection in her throat,which spread down her esophogus.I dont know if this was solely related to the radiation treatment,as she was on topotecan at the same time,but all in all it wasnt too rough on her

Posts: 21
Joined: Mar 2009

My wife is experiancing the same issue dx was nov 08 3b nsclc squamous cell. she finished her combined rad and chemo on 3/18/09 without to many effects until a few weeks ago. she had been taking nexium and could not swallow the pill. A barium swallow showed a decrease to a 6 from a normal 13 and a dialation was done on june 6 09 which enlarged to a 8 ,further dialation willbe done on 6/26 as the tissue was to enflamed to dailate at that time all this was due to the radiation performed earlier. I hope that the radiation will not further irritate a very serious problem. We are due for a restage pet scan on july 21 with the possibility of further dialation on that date. We hope for your sucess with this latest development

ARobben's picture
Posts: 46
Joined: Apr 2009

The radiation I've been doing so far hasn't been bad. I'm hoping that holds true for what I start tomorrow. Either way, I'm ready to handle it. I was told that dilation wouldn't work in my case since the lymph node is pushing on the esophagus from the outside and it would just push it right back closed.

Anyway, thanks for sharing and best of luck to you both!

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