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radiation - how much should be given

Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2012

I had a lump behind my ear and it was SCC from a skin cancer that
was not taken care of by my dermatologist. I had a fna, pet scan and
surgery to remove the lymph node attahed to the parotid that had the scc in it. Surgeon also
removed one more node that looked bad and a little section of skin where
it all started.
Surgeon has recommended radiation as a safty choice. set up with a radiation
doctor and has set me up for 30 treatments with a total of 60 Gy.
It seems that every one I talked to has the same amount of 60 regardless
of how much cancer in the parotid they had removed.
Just wonder if a person could not get by with less if it is a safty mode
of getting any missed cells.

hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

I know I had a lessor amount of radiation to the right side of my neck vs. the left side. I had 2 or 3 positive lymph nodes on the left and the right was done as a precaution. At least that is what they told me. My surgeon left if up to the Radiologist as to whether he wanted to radiate both sides. Of course they chose to error on the side of caution. With that being said, side effects did not seem any less on the side with the lower dose of rads.

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4673
Joined: Mar 2012

this is the area of their expertise. I don't even know how much radiation I had, or if it was different on each side of my neck....I just knew I wanted the cancer out of me, and the Dr.'s knew more than I did....

I'm just saying there is a lot to be said in simply trusting your physicians.


blackswampboy's picture
Posts: 341
Joined: Jul 2012

sounds like a question for your radiation onc.
there are a lot of variables, including type of and stage of cancer, and whether chemo and/or surgery are involved.
not sure that any of us medical non-pros can give you a reliable answer on your case.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Trust, confidense and how lucky do you feel.....

Most on here that have been prescribed rads received between 30 - 35 sessions, and 60 - 70 Gy.

I trust and have confidense in my MD's...if you don't you should seek second opinions.

They use those numbers mentioned above for a reason...they have proven effective over time and history.

Radiation is rough and does yield the most after treatment long term effects...but like I mentioned, it works best in those numbers for the largest majority of people.

It's not up to me to second guess my MD's...if they had sai 4 treatments, 40 it would have been, 2, then it would have been 20...

BTW, I had STGIII SCC Tonsils, and a lymphnode....along with a ton of chemo, I also had 35 rads sessions, and 60 - 70gy... 70 on the effected side, 60 on the non-cancer side..


Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Nov 2011

My comments are the same as all of the above.....

Keep us posted and trust your team of docs...ask questions and get 2nd opinion if you do not feel comfortable...



Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

LOL, should have been 40 and 40 or 20 and 20....


fisrpotpe's picture
Posts: 1349
Joined: Aug 2010

i must say that i being a survivor do not have the knowledge to begin to share how much radiation anyone should get. i have been thru hell and back by getting 38 treatments and 7800 rads. could i wonder if i only did 25 treatments if the results would be the same, you bet i could. back when i was told i have cancer and what the treatments were going to be, i just said to self i wanted it gone for life, and said to doc. your the man with the plan and went with it.

i can't tell you how many, how long, or what angle to point the machine at. i can tell you for me it was all about risk and reward. i had much faith in my doctor's and went with there plan as i only wanted to kick cancers *** just one time. ya see for me, i just wanted more time.

i have been blessed with much more time than i could ever expect. i always wonder why the man above has given me the pass this long. maybe it is to share my experiences. what ever the reason it is because of him and the gifts of doctors, faith and support that i am still hanging out.

take a couple moments and just think.... is the risk worth the reward with all the unknown the doctors still have.


fisrpotpe's picture
Posts: 1349
Joined: Aug 2010

Oh ya welcome to a wonderful site and please continue your thoughts and keep us updated on your war in treatment and many many years of survivorship.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm sorry, I totally agree with John...(well, I'm not sorry for agreeing with John), LOL....

I am sorry that I din't take a moment to Welcome you to the group...

It's a wonderful site, and full of awesome people....I also have to give thanks to the American Cancer Society, an especially Greta (Cancer Survivors Network) whom without, we would not have this awesome place to share out experience.

We do have a SuperThread that has tons of awesome information and links also;


Compiled and put to a thread by Dawn - Sweetblood22..

Please don't post on it, but look it over sometime when you get a chance.


Army_Guy's picture
Posts: 53
Joined: Oct 2010

I had a stage 3 tumor at the base of my tongue and underwent a very aggressive radiation treatment; radiat twice a day, 5 days per week for seven weeks. This was coupled with a weekly dose of chemo (Cisplatin). I finished treatments on August 12, 2010 and NED and I are still friends...

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Glad you got'er done.....

even if you are an Army Guy, LOL....

Congrats brother,

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