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mom's recurrent cancer mom's recurrent cancer

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  #1  
Unread 07-01-2004, 09:36 PM
mom's recurrent cancer

my mom had uterine cancer last july and total hyst in august. they felt confident it was all clean. grade2/3 stage 1a.
it was discovered by finding a polyp back then,in the uterus.

3 weeks ago they found another polyp on her vaginal cuff and removed it for biopsy. That came back again as cancer grade2/3 recurrent endometrial cancer. a leep procedure was done and he removed as much tissue up to the rectum. we met with a radioligist who is sending her to a gyn/oncologist.

they want to treat her with 3-5 days of brachytherapy and then 5-7 weeks of external radiation after.

they are not saying statistics or non-recurrence rates or what the goal is. i am sure they are waiting for cat scan and leep biopsy results but has anyone had this experience?

we are only being told when asked for prognosis that this cancer is very agressive, and it is very serious that treatment start right away.

is recurrent cancer a death sentence or do they just not know?

i am freaking out as we just lost my grandma, and in between all this endometrial cancer, my mom is happily recovered from breast cancer 7 years ago, and now this!

thank you for listening, please help me out here with any words or info!

Jill
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  #2  
Unread 07-01-2004, 10:09 PM
mom's recurrent cancer

Hi, Jill. Just wanted to pop in and say, hello. I'm sorry for all that you're Mom is going through. It's not easy.

I had uterine cancer (in addition to ovarian cancer) last year and had a total hysterectomy, of course. I also had chemo and radiation therapy. I haven't had any recurrance and am cancer free today.

All I can see is that I've had the internal radiation (brachytherapy) and external. It's not easy. There can be lots of side effects but they're are all manageable. So, it's tough, but it's doable, and frankly, considering how quickly the radiation therapy is done, it's over fairly soon (and you improve quite quickly when it's all done). My radiation oncologist said the main concern is the impact on bowels and bladder. I had residual bowel problems for a long time, but I'm just about back to pre-surgery.

I'll keep your Mom in my prayers.

Best,
  #3  
Unread 07-01-2004, 10:13 PM
mom's recurrent cancer

Just realized an important P.S.:

Recurrent cancer is not a death sentence. It's really a matter of getting ALL the cancer. And that means fighting the cancer aggressively with the right treatment.

Keep the hope and faith.
  #4  
Unread 07-02-2004, 06:25 AM
mom's recurrent cancer

I agree with Maureenie 100% about treating the recurrence aggressively, and that it is not a death sentance. I had endocervical adenocarcinoma and I had a recurrence around this time last year.

I too had Chemo and radiation and as Maureenie had said the radiation is very dooable, I had 25 external with 3 external boosters and one 48hr LDR brachytherapy (internal radiation). Yes the radiation does have its side effects, but all in all it is very dooable.

I will pray for your mom and

God Bless
  #5  
Unread 07-02-2004, 06:49 AM
mom's recurrent cancer

Hi, Jill,

If endometrial cancer recurs in the vagina after hysterectomy and if the individual has not previously been treated with radiation, the cancer is in most cases successfully treated with external and internal radiation.

I am a five-year endometrial cancer survivor. My cancer was much more extensive than your mother's at the time of diagnosis, so my gynecologic oncologist prescribed internal and external radiation as part of my initial treatment plan. Therefore, I would not be able to have radiation again to the same area.

However, since your mother did not have radiation initially, there is a very good chance that the radiation will effectively treat her recurrence. Because of several recent studies, there has been a trend by some gyn-oncs against recommending radiation as part of the initial treatment plan, especially in cases where there is not deep invasion of the tumor into the myometrium (underlying muscle wall of the uterus).

The best thing you can do for your mother right now is to make sure she is under the care of a board-certified gynecologic oncologist and radiation oncologist. I would be happy to try and answer any additional questions you might have, either on this board or by PM.

Best wishes to you and your mom.

MoeKay
  #6  
Unread 07-02-2004, 06:59 AM
reply

hi maureenie,

I am sooo glad to hear you are doing good from your therapies! That is good to know these treatments work.

her dr's are working hard to treat her. they are just not saying it is a CURE which is what is scarry. they have her seeing the top brachytherapy gyn/onco in the u.s. which worries me also.

when do they talk about the positive or recovery/nonrecurrence.
after the treatments? everyone's been "nice" but it's hard to be positive when they are not saying good or bad!

i realize the dr's do much better now then years ago and she has a good chance but how many times does your body fight before it stops......

i know i am down today but for a year now we keep saying no it's not bad and then it turns out to be so! I told my mom she needs to cut this &@# out!!!!!

I have lost so many family the last few years i really couldn't take this. A mother in law(52), 2 grandma's, a 54 year old aunt and my mom in between all these.

sharing your experience at least sheds some light on some of the unknown. thank you for that.

Jill
  #7  
Unread 07-02-2004, 12:20 PM
mom's recurrent cancer

This is very hard, I know. And I think doctors play their cards very close to their vests if you know what I mean. When I was diagnosed with the cancers, I asked my doctor what my gyn onc what my chances were? His response: It all depends on how you respond to the treatment.

It was the most honest answer he could give me, and, frankly, it wasn't the one I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear: "Oh, you'll go through this, Maureen, and everything will be fine and soon it will all just be a bad memory."

Jill, I had to put all my faith in God that He put the right doctors in my path to do for me what needed to be done to make me healthy again.

That mindset, along with lots of help from really positive, supportive people (such as we find here on this site), have brought me to where I am today.
  #8  
Unread 07-02-2004, 12:36 PM
reply

Thank you, I know we are all in gods hands. Like the outcome or not!
I wish she wasn't going through this again. Hopefully this will be lucky 3!

Jill
  #9  
Unread 07-02-2004, 01:27 PM
mom's recurrent cancer

Jill,

You mentioned that your mom was successfully treated for breast cancer 7 years ago. I was just wondering whether she was on Tamoxifen after the breast cancer, as Tamoxifen increases the risk for endometrial cancer.

To expand a bit on my prior post, because of the results of some long-term recent studies, many women with very early stage endometrial cancer who in the past would have been treated with radiation after hysterectomy, are no longer being given the radiation as part of their initial treatment. The trend now seems to be to use radiation more sparingly on these very early stage patients and then for those whose endometrial cancer recurs in the vagina, to treat the recurrence with radiation. Several studies have shown that their is no difference in survival for very early stage endometrial cancer patients when either of these two treatment approaches is used.

Best regards.

MoeKay
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