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No vaginal symptoms during pelvic external beam radiation. Worried.

zsazsa1
Posts: 322
Joined: Oct 2018

So I've only got 3 more treatments to go of 28 treatments.  I had horrendous diarrhea begin about two weeks in.  I've had mild cytitis the past week or so.  But NO vaginal symptoms.  Haven't had sex in a couple of weeks because of mild nausea, and severe diarrhea, but no itching, no real increase in discharge.

I've always been afraid that they've got the sites wrong for the radiation (IMRT), and that they're irradiating too high up, more up towards the abdomen.  They've done everything possible to reassure me, but the fact that I have no vaginal symptoms (and they're trying to get the vaginal area up to 50 gcy, the lymph node areas up to 45 gcy) only makes me more worried.

Any feedback from anyone who has also been through whole pelvic external beam without brachytherapy?  Rad onc is telling me that bowel is most sensitive, bladder less sensitive, and vaginal mucosa is pretty tolerant of radiation, which could explain this.  But I was seen by a different rad onc today, who looked puzzled, and was silent, when I told her I had no vaginal symptoms at all.

She showed me again the diagrams for mapping for radiation fields, but that doesn't tell me that the machine was programmed correctly and is delivering to the correct areas.

If anyone has been through this, and didn't have vaginal symptoms from just external beam, it would be reassuring to me.

Donna Faye's picture
Donna Faye
Posts: 242
Joined: Jan 2017

I had 25 external and the only problems I had were diarrhea and loss of bladder control when waited too long.  No vaginal problems at all. Hope this helps. 

MAbound
Posts: 860
Joined: Jun 2016

I had a vaginal boost (basically the same as brachy, just delivered externally) after pelvic radiation that was delivered by 3D-CRT. I can't remember how many, but is was basically about an extra week of treatments. No vaginal symptoms except for loss of elasticity. No bleeding, no pain, no itching or whatever you are looking for. Count your blessings...you're not getting placebo radiation.

LisaPizza's picture
LisaPizza
Posts: 214
Joined: Feb 2018

I had external radiation and no v symptoms whatsoever, during or after.

zsazsa1
Posts: 322
Joined: Oct 2018

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  One great fear I've had during radiation is that they're not hitting the correct places, and it disturbed me that I was having so much bowel trouble, and some bladder trouble, but no vaginal trouble.  It is reassuring to hear that others had the same experience.

Almost done with treatment (except for Herceptin every 3 weeks and my new oncologist wants to start me on an estrogen blocker).  As soon as the diarrhea recedes, I'm making travel plans!

Denise66
Posts: 56
Joined: Aug 2018

What estrogen blocker?  Tamoxifen?  

zsazsa1
Posts: 322
Joined: Oct 2018

Don't know which one she will suggest.  My tumor had a lot of estrogen receptors, so she theorizes that it might be helpful.  I'm a bit overweight - 5 ft 6 inches and about 168 lbs, so there's surely estrogen being produced by fat.  I should try to lose some weight after the radiation is over, to reduce fat and hence reduce estrogen production.  But that's not easy to do, and the estrogen blocker will help with stopping estrogen from stimulating the tumor, we hope.

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