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treatments and their differences treatments and their differences

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Unread 06-14-2002, 12:16 PM
treatments and their differences

What determines whether you have radiation and or chemo and what is the difference between the two? I know the obvious differences but need to know from someone who's been there. What choices do I have?
Do you ever have a choice between the two? I'm reving up for my post op.
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Unread 06-14-2002, 01:20 PM

I don't know why you would have just chemo-or just radiation. But in my circumstances it was just radiation because my cancer was low grade and chemo wouldn't do much good. A slow growing cancer is rather like a cancer that has been treated with chemo. So I had radiation to kill any "stray cells"
I think often women have both chemo and radiation because they both are powerful tools against cancer. You need to do everything you can for your "first battle" It's the one you have the best chance of winning. At least that's what my gyn/onc told me.
Good luck!
Unread 06-15-2002, 07:35 AM
treatments and their differences

Hi Carol,
I am not really sure what determines whether chemo or radiation is given, but I believe it has to do with the type of cancer and the location, and the type of spread. I know radiation treatments are over in minutes instead of hours like chemo though. I remember being so jealous of people in out patients who were there for radiation.....they would be in and out in 20 minutes, and I would be there for 5 hours.

Chemo of course goes through the blood, so that is killing the bad, ( and good, unfortunately) cells that may be scattered. Radiation is directed at one specific area only.

I know in my case I didn't have a choice between the two. It had to be chemo, because my actual tumor had been removed, so the chemo was to get any stray cells that were there. And they told me the type of chemo I was having worked really well for my strain of cancer.

Hopefully someone else will have some more info on this!! Its a great question.
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Unread 06-15-2002, 10:12 AM
treatments and their differences

s Carol

You will most definitely get more information at your post op visit. And most likely the choice will not be up to you. Your doctor will certainly determine which treatment plan best fits your type cancer. Radiation is probably used when they are fairly certain the cancer is localized only. Chemotherapy is usually used if there is a higher chance that cancer cells may have escaped from the localized area. Let us know how your visit goes.

Unread 06-16-2002, 03:53 PM
treatments and their differences

From what I understand about chemo and radiation is this:
Radiation attacks a local area, in case there have been any stray cells. It is also used to shrink tumors. If you have had a type of cancer such as endometrial, they will do radiation as a precaution in some cases, depending on the stage of the cancer.

A cancer such as ovarian has more of a history of traveling through the bloodstream, so they will do chemo to attack those bad cells. Not sure how accurate I am, but from my readings this is how i can best describe it.

Your doctor can certainly explain in more details.....and usually they tell you the course of treatment.

Good Luck
Unread 06-16-2002, 09:52 PM

I had the same questions, everytime I think I get it, I wonder about why I am not having chemo as well. The other girls explained it the same as I have been told. I don't have a tumor, and my cervical cancer went through to another body part. This was only found after hyster and not expected. (it is pretty unusal as well) So, I am being treated to the area in my vaginal wall that came back with CA after my first pap smear. It is a lower grade then originally. This should do it. Everyone is different. Write down questions for Dr., or bring a tape recorder to play back his/her answers. It gets absolutely exhausting explaining the answers to worried family members over and over again. Maybe, you could bring one, and just hit play anytime you need to explain!! sss and

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