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Deciding on radiation or not Deciding on radiation or not

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Unread 04-26-2004, 12:58 PM
Deciding on radiation or not

My "precautionary" TAH was done on March 4, 2004. It went pretty good until I heard what was in the pathology report. Stage 2 endometrian cancer was quite a shock! I have had a CT scan last week that was negative. This Thursday I will discuss radiation with a radiation therapist. This appointment was set up by my gynecologist/oncologist who is working with my regular ob/gyn doctor. My two options were: do nothing or go through radiation. My question is how do you ever figure out what you should do????? Does anyone know the statistics for complications afterwards? How do you know if it's worth it?

I'm 58 and a melanoma cancer survivor. Now this! Any help or your advice would be appreciated!
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Unread 04-26-2004, 01:24 PM
Deciding on radiation or not

Dear Typing Teacher,
I wish I could remember where I wrote down the statistics my doc gave me. I also had Stage II endo cancer. I opted for the radiation.

Parts of it were really easy for me. I didn't have much trouble with the short-term side effects such as nausea and diahrrea and fatigue. The doc was really great about addressing those symptoms immediately and gave me solutions that worked. (An RX for the nausea, an OTC with special directions for the diarrhea, not much to be done about the fatigue but drink more and more and more water.)

I had both external and internal treatments. I didn't look forward to the days of internal appointments, but, all things considered, those weren't even really that bad. There are a couple of other threads about radiation on this forum -- if you do a search, you can get some instant general info.

With stage II, my "advice" is go for the radiation.

But talk to the docs about short-term and possible long-term side effects. Ask about their own experiences with treating people, what percentage of them have had any of the long-term effects, and which ones. Lymphedema is a risk -- not to scare you, but one I'm dealing with -- it can be a side-effect from the cancer itself, and/or from the removal of lymph nodes during surgery, and/or from radiation treatments. I was not aware of this before surgery OR before radiation. I still would have had the radiation treatments, however. Getting any and all stray cancer cells 'zapped' to minimize any chance of recurrence of the cancer far outweighs the annoyance of having to manage a condition such as lymphedema.

Also talk to the docs about any possible alternatives to radiation they may be studying. Gather as much info as you can, and then base your decision on what you learn.

My very best wishes -- and if you have specific questions, feel free to post more.
Unread 04-27-2004, 10:53 AM
Deciding on radiation or not

I wholeheartedly agree with Empresse!! I am 56 and had a TAH/BSO on March 3, 2004, for Stage IIa, Grade II Endometrial cancer which had started to go towards the cervix. My onc/gyn said she was sure she got all of the cancer surgically (pelvic wash and 23 lymph nodes were negative) but if cancer were to recur it would most likely be in the vaginal cuff. The onc/rad said he wanted to treat it agressively due to my "youth." (He became my best friend due to that statement!! I want all the ammunition I can get to prevent it from recurring!! My thoughts and prayers are with you!
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Unread 04-27-2004, 03:35 PM
Deciding on radiation or not

You only get one real chance to knock out this cancer for good. Why wouldn't you use every weapon available?

Unread 04-27-2004, 04:32 PM
Deciding on radiation or not

Dear Typing Teacher,

My gynecologic oncologist and radiation oncologist were able to give me the statistical benefit to having radiation for my endometrial cancer, which was clinical stage 2B, surgical stage 1C. They told me that the radiation decreased my chances of having a recurrence by 15%. To me, knowing that, the decision became simple, since I did not want to deal with the possibility of a recurrence, or worse.

I would suggest you discuss what your treatment team estimates the survival benefit to be from your course of radiation. They should also be able to answer any questions you might have about possible short and long-term radiation side effects.

Good luck,

Unread 04-27-2004, 06:28 PM
Deciding on radiation or not

Hello felllow teacher

To do radiation or not really is a personal decision....However, I must also stick my two cents in.

My cancer was different and my only option was 6 treatments of taxol and carboplatin. I did not have radiation at all. My thought on this whole thing is this....This was my chance to blow away those nasty cancer cells before they blew me away!!

Had I not done the 6 chemo treatments and something reoccurred right away, I would never had been able to forgive myself.

This is your chance to show those cells who is the boss!!

Unread 04-30-2004, 01:14 PM
Thanks for all your messages

Thank you so much for all your replies to my post. Yesterday I saw the radiation doctor who was so nice. I think it's the first time a doctor has hugged me since I was seven and had broken my arm. This doctor was full of hugs.

I am still reading, researching, and discussing all the pros and cons of radiation. It's a big decision for me as I am diabetic. I've had melanoma skin cancer ten years ago and survived that plus my lymph nodes on the left groin area have been "tinkered" with already.

Thanks again for all the support!
Unread 05-01-2004, 10:52 AM
Deciding on radiation or not

Dear Typing Teacher:

I have Stage One Uterine Cancer. My Oncologist told me, "You are a B+ student right now, but after Radiation you will be an A." Why not be an A student??? I never was in school!

This is a great place to share experiences and fears and to discover that we are not alone. There's lots of support and advice. And love.

Go for it!

Unread 05-01-2004, 11:57 AM
Radiation or not?


Thanks for your insight, Becky. I went for the free skin cancer screening this morning, and who should turn out to be my doctor--the same one (radiation doctor) I saw on Thursday. I just wish I had tape recorded all the things he told me on Thursday. I need to decide about this within the next ten days.

My family doctor said he would not go through radiation in my case. I was really amazed that he stated that even before I asked him his opinion. He seems to have a lot of patients with severe long-term side effects--mostly bowel problems from what I understand.

Monday I see my ob-gyn again. Maybe I can pin him down as to what he really thinks. I guess the long-term side effects are what I worry most about. Does anyone know if you go through radiation, and cancer reoccurs...can the area be radiated again? I think it depends on the radiation dose, but I don't think it can be done again. Not sure. Guess each case is different.

Thanks for all the support and HUGS to all of you!
Unread 05-01-2004, 01:35 PM
Deciding on radiation or not

My surgery was on 3-12-04 for endo cervical adenocarcinoma--stage 1b. My gyn-onc told me that he wants me to have external and internal radiation. he said that this is a precautionary measure to zap any microscopic cancer cells that might possibly be there. I agree with the other ladies.....It is better to get radiation and kill anything that is microscopic than to wait until you might have symptoms.

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