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My Rad-Onc's Response To Dilator Question My Rad-Onc's Response To Dilator Question

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Unread 09-26-2003, 06:21 PM
My Rad-Onc's Response To Dilator Question

Hello All--

At my appointment with my radiation-oncologist yesterday, I asked whether I needed to continue using the vaginal dilator indefinitely. When she originally prescribed it after completion of internal and external radiation, she never mentioned a timeframe after which I could discontinue using it, and I never saw any time period mentioned in any cancer resource. I had therefore assumed (incorrectly) that it was a lifelong proposition.

I was pleasantly surprised when she said that I really only needed to have used the dilator for a year or so after completing treatment--which was more than three years ago. She explained that after a year, there would no longer be the potential for scar tissue formation or stenosis (narrowing) of the vagina from the radiation.

So for me, it's definitely a long overdue good bye to "Slim Jim" as I so affectionately refer to my dilator!! I'm certainly glad I asked the question, but I only wish she would have told me this a couple of years ago, and/or that the information would have been available in some literature provided at the time of radiation or in other available cancer resources.

Please be sure to check with your own radiation-oncologists since there might be particular facts and circumstances of your case that warrant a different timeframe than I had.

Best regards.

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Unread 09-26-2003, 08:47 PM
My Rad-Onc's Response To Dilator Question

Hi MoeKay
My doctor suggestsed using that thing too. I had radiation treatments and sex life has been gone to non existent. My husband is so frustrated and upset.I just don't see how it can help. One thing my husbnd wanted to try was the Eroes. Almost the same thing. The doctor did not reccommend it.

Did this dilator reallyl work for you? Are you more comfortable with your husband?(or partner)
Unread 09-27-2003, 04:08 AM
My Rad-Onc's Response To Dilator Question

Hi, Valeri--

After radiation treatments for gynecologic cancer, the radiation can cause scar tissue to develop. Radiation also can cause the vaginal canal to narrow. After treatment, radiation oncologists instruct their patients to use vaginal dilators to prevent these post-radiation side effects from occurring. Otherwise, not only will sex be difficult if not impossible, but post-treatment gynecologic examinations will likewise be extremely difficult and very painful.

I followed my rad-onc's instructions about using the dilator after treatment, and as a result, I have not experienced any of these types of problems. I would suggest that you talk further with your doctor about any specific problems you are experiencing and ask her to explain to you why she believes that using a dilator will alleviate your particular symptoms. This should clear up any lingering questions or concerns that you might have.

Good luck!


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