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Chemo and radiation recommended-BIG concern re radiation Chemo and radiation recommended-BIG concern re radiation

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Unread 09-01-2009, 08:08 PM
Chemo and radiation recommended-BIG concern re radiation

Hi Ladies... so glad that I read your postings as I am in a very similar situation. I am a very active 49 year old, now recovering from my vaginal-assisted laprascopic hysterectomy done on Aug 11, 2009. The pathology report says there was Grade 1 endometrial cancer that spread to the ovaries - a polyp on each ovary, they are saying Stage 3a. (22 Lymph nodes dissection all negative and nothing in fluid. That's good!) The surgeon/gyn/onc has recommended 5 weeks of external radiation, followed by 2 internal doses of internal...then 4 cycles of chemo. Which seems to me to be too aggressive. I don't understand why both rad and chemo.

AND, get this, the radiation oncologist thinks that we are dealing with 2 cancers, ovarian and uterine, both Stage 1, Grade 1. He doesn't think the uterine cancer spread. My original surgeon/gyn/onc tells me this would not affect treatment, but I don't buy it. I am looking to get a second opinion.

PattiO it seems you have a similar prognosis (Grade 1, Stage 3a) and did they only say chemo? I basically like my Drs but have BIG concerns about doing radiation, etc. I am not sure what I will do, am delaying decision, though they want me to start next week. PattO and all you girls - you are amazing! love G
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Unread 09-02-2009, 08:07 AM
Re: Chemo and radiation recommended-BIG concern re radiation

I was told its easier to ward off recurrence with preventative treatments, than to go back and treat a recurrence. That could be the thinking the Dr. is using in having you undergo both rads and chemo.
Unread 09-02-2009, 09:35 AM
Re: Chemo and radiation recommended-BIG concern re radiation

I was the same as Pattie, grade 1 with only spread to fluid and because of that, stage 3A. My dr & others I spoke with did not recommend rad or chemo, they actually discouraged it. I think chemo is good if used in the right situations; However, it can kill off the good cells which weakens the immune system. I am not in anyway saying its bad or the wrong choice for anyone, only that it is not always a clear cut decision. I had no further treatment and if i would have a reoccurance, I would always wonder if its because i did not have chemo or radiation. But it works both ways - those getting extra treatment and then a reoccurance may wonder if it was because their immune system couldn't fight it off. My mother had chemo for breast cancer and then a few months later developed a separate pancreatic cancer. Although it can't be proven, I have often wondered if the chemo prevented her immune system from fighting it off. This was 20 plus years ago so I am not sure if chemo treatment has changed sinse then.
lanycgoober - cant they tell for sure from the pathology if its a separate cancer? Usually with grade 1 cancers they can sinse it looks so much like the cells in that area. With higher grade cancers, it can be more difficult.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 09:50 AM
Re: Chemo and radiation recommended-BIG concern re radiation

thanks so much girls.. all thoughts and insights are most welcome! I just got the second opinion and that Doc says it is 90% certain that cancer on ovaries is the same type, ie metastases not a separate cancer. While I had no cancer in lymph nodes or fluid, I suppose it is this spread to the ovaries that makes for the treatment suggestion of radiation then chemo. I only hope that my body would handle these well and recover quickly. Am searching for more information including complementary Doc in area to assist.

Ktjas and others - I am curious where you are located, as I am in NYC and am finding the Docs here to be the aggressive type...I wonder what a West Coast Doctor would say and am wondering if I should get a third opinion from there.
Unread 09-02-2009, 10:05 AM
Re: Chemo and radiation recommended-BIG concern re radiation

I am in texas but I think that for spread to ovaries, most doctors would recommend at least chemo or radiation.
Radiation is probably a good extra precaution for you, especially cause they know where it spread. I had cells in fluid which is uncommon with grade 1 & no other spread. They don't know the significance of these cells but from everything I've researched, if there is a reoccurance, it is usually not in the pelvic area so radiation would not be beneficial. I would have pushed for it if I thought it would decrease chances of reoccurance.
Unread 09-02-2009, 10:21 AM
Re: Chemo and radiation recommended-BIG concern re radiation

thanks Ktjas, very helpful thoughts. could you clarify "if there us a recurrence, it is usually not in the pelvic area, so radiation not beneficial"

thanks Gail
Unread 09-02-2009, 10:30 AM
Re: Chemo and radiation recommended-BIG concern re radiation

Studies that were done (I've read many that confirm this) on women that had similiar diagnosis 3a because of cells in wash. They were followed for years and the majority of women that did have a reoccurance had it at the cuff or at a distant location like lungs or brain. I've never read that radiation would be benificial in my case but do know of women whose drs have recommended chemo - mine didn't.
Unread 09-14-2009, 09:13 PM
Re: Chemo and radiation recommended-BIG concern re radiation

If you were to get a third opinion, you might consider Henderson Medical Center in Houston. I haven't been there, but I know folks who have, and they and Sloan/Kettering are considered the best in the country. Good luck to you.

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