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Concerns about radiotherapy - abdominal & pelvic

Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2017

I was diagnosied with stage III endometrial cancer in july. I have had a full hysterectomy with ovaries & fallopian tubes removed. i am currently undergoing chemotherapy, and will be having the last cycle next week. The consultant has recommended radiotherapy to the abdomen and pelvis for 5 weeks to prevent re-occurance. i am concerned about the side effects of radiotherapy particularly in the abdominal area as it is near some of the vital organs. Has anyone else had this course of treatement and if so what what was your experience?

CheeseQueen57's picture
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2016

I had 28 days of external, 3 internal. Not easy but doable. Nausea, bladder effects, vaginal stenosis, fatigue. I finished November 2016. That’s pretty much recommended for Stage 3. You want to hit this with all you’ve got the first time. That gives you the best chance. 

Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2017

Thank you for your response. However  can i  ask did your radiotherapy treatment include  the abdomen and pelvis or was your treatment  just for the pelvis. Also can this treatment affect other vital organs in that area such as the kidneys, liver etc ...?

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
Posts: 1687
Joined: Jun 2015

Welcome Floelle, So sorry you need to be here. There is a thread that you might find helpful. Please read the thread 'Let's Talk About Radiation'.  There are several women who talked about their experience here.  Congrats on nearing the end of Chemo! That is a major milestone. :-)

Please come back and let us know how you are doing.

Love and Hugs,


Jairoldi's picture
Posts: 221
Joined: May 2017

Hi Floelle,

I finished my radiation on November 30. Radiation for me was external and 25 treatments. This followed the chemo of every 3 weeks for 6 cycles. My diagnosis is stage 3B, grade 3 UPSC. Unfortunately I had a positive margin at the vaginal cuff. My radiologist chose external only and focused on the lower pelvic area. After treatment was set up and the ct scan done I asked her to show me exactly what she was aiming for. She pulled up everything on the computer and explained it all. It really did give me a better understanding.

Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2017

Thank you Jairoldi for your response. Very helpful, i think i will do the same (re: consultant explaining scan)

CheeseQueen57's picture
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2016

I had Pelvic and higher up in abdomen because of positive para aortic lymph node. But it is very targeted. 

ckdgedmom's picture
Posts: 166
Joined: Oct 2017

I'm Stage 4 UPSC and I had 25 rounds of external beam to my pelvic and abdominal area and 3 brachy therapy treatments...

I had mild nausea and some diarhea...easily managed with meds...

some fatigue

so far nothing seems to be different other than vaginal tightness for which I use a dialator because I am single...

I also had a second series of radiation to my neck as there were postive lymph nodes there...

I find out tomorrow if that treatment worked...my pelvis looked clear after chemo and radiation...

NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 2803
Joined: Mar 2013

Please let us know how tomorrow goes with the radiation to your neck.  

Soup52's picture
Posts: 903
Joined: Jan 2016

I’ve had it all and like cheese said it was worth it despite side effects. I was stage 3C so I wanted to do everything I could. Yes, vaginal stenosis and I have chronic constipation which could have been brought about a number of things including surgery, chemo and radiation.

Posts: 124
Joined: Aug 2014

Hey there. I was stage 1A, grade 1, endometrial cancer a few years ago. Unfortunately, it recurred last year and radiation/chemo plus 3 rounds of carbo/taxol was recommended after surgery to remove the tumor, the remaining ovary and part of my sigmoid colon. I was nervous about radiation too especially when they suggested two low doses of cisplatin as a supplement to radiation. I believe the cisplatin caused most of the nausea but medication kept it at bay very well.

It's very doable. Painless for the actual procedure if external. Diarrhea, nausea and fatigue are common side effects (along with hair loss down there and my skin turned brown in the area of radiation) but they don't really appear until later in your treatment. It's also time-consuming as I was going in 5 days a week and I had to make sure I had a full bladder so timing was key. Long term effects include vaginal stenosis and you must use dilators 3x a week for the rest of your life if you're not sexually active.

Is it worth it? I just got back from my check-up and I'm still in the clear a year later. I worry it will come back and now that radiation is no longer an option, it makes me nervous but I figure this is my one shot at nipping it in the bud while my doctors feel it's still curable even though I've recurred. Depending on your cancer, it may respond better to radiation if they're hanging around. Mine is a low grade endometrioid adenocarcinoma which responds better to radiation than chemo. In the end, did both. 

Posts: 571
Joined: Oct 2009

I was 2B endometrial cancer diagnosis back in May 2009. My radiation was external 26 treatments and 3 internal vaginal brachytherapy. The side effects for me this far out is that my skin tends to be dryer where I had radiation externally. You will be monitored closely. I did experience burning while urinating during part of the radiation therapy but that was addressed with some Aquaphor Cream that can be purchased at a drugstore non prescription.  Fatigue was the worst at the end of my radiation treatments. I am glad I had the radiation treatments. The technology in terms of minimizing side-effects from over radiating is so much better than years ago. You will make the right decision based on your personal situation. 

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