Radiation? No? Why not?

Hi, I Have noticed that many people do not like the option of radiation. My first diagnosis with stage I was in 1999, as was my first radiation.

I was diagnosed Stage IV in 2008 with mets to my spine, sacrum, ilium and my ribs. My vertebra was pushing up against my spinal cord and I was to the point of not walking because of the damage and pain. In addition to other treatments, I had radiation to my cervical, thoracic and the lumbar areas. It helped tremendously! This was during the first three months after the metastatic cancer had been found.

Last December I had radiation to my femur after finding out the cancer had spread there. The reduction in pain has been 80%.

I do know the biggest risk is a second cancer caused by the radiation. I am willing to take that risk because the pain was so bad. All treatments come with a risk.

My husband was a nuclear reactor operator on submarines in the navy, and then at a reactor for 5 years after the navy while in college. So maybe I have less fear because of his knowledge. But I guess I just don't give much thought to what it can do to me, just what it can do for me.

I am just curious as to why so many are against it.

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As you stated-the risk! I start my radiation next week and something that another poster said about a "slow roast " I want to speak to my Rad Onco about this very subject as he said he would start slow, then "boost" then back off, which I told my husband last night, the word "Boost" scares me as I am already being treated for Adhesive Capsulitis in the same area and I am afraid of the radiation damaging even more tissue to the area rendering my arm/shoulder immobile. I am in agreement with the "slow roast" method as it does not damage the fleshy tissue and if the Rad Onco is not willing to do this then I will not proceed because I feel the DNA damage is a huge risk but to make my current painful condition even worse is really the deciding factor for me.

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I had to google Adhesive Capsulitis to find out what it is. It sounds very painful. I can see why you are not taking your decision to have radiation lightly. Good luck.

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I was diagnosed with mets to lots of the spine,the femur,ribs,pelvis,etc 1/10. I had a lot of pain down my r leg from sciatic nerve in '10 and the first thing they tried was radiation. I got nothing but a burned butt. After other treatments I finally had relief in 3/11. Then I got into a car accident at the end of June and my leg has hurt ever since then. Once again I had radiation to the 2 areas they hadn't radiated yet in my femur. I did get some relief but I'm still limping and taking a low dose of Morphine. What I learned was I have to be careful now the bones are more fragile and could break more easily. The big warning was I don't want them to have to put a rod in my femur.

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I had radiation to an area of my spine when I had a collapsed vertebra due to the cancer, and it helped tremendously. I was afraid of radiation before I was diagnosed. I actually opted for a mastectomy partly to avoid radiation to my breast! Silly, now in retrospect. It certainly didn't keep me from a recurrence.
I would do radiation again if I have other areas in my spine that give me pain. It was a very successful procedure for me, and I think I have a good radiation oncologist at my treatment center that I trust. He's been very helpful in giving me information to help me make decisions regarding surgery vs radiation. Anyone facing these decisions needs to keep talking to doctors until they find someone that makes sense to them, and then go with that decision, imo.

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Hi T

Your radiation onc should be able to map your treatment very carefully, what they can do today in this field is nothing short of miraculous.
My radiation was mapped extremely well to avoid all previously radiated areas. The beams I received were for deep tx for internal mammary node and supraclavicular node, My skin stayed flawless I just used aquafor every day when I came home ......my boost sounded scary to me the first time when they told in 2009. it was actually 5 more tx of rads for a total of 33 tx. I'll bet it not likely to bother you at all.
It was the external rads I had on my sternum that got bad because I wasn't taking it seriously enough to slather on the aquafor everyday.
Having been a sun worshipper I thought how bad could it be? The nurse was not happy with me. But it healed and looks like a flower burn in my cleavage. Just put a little makeup on it to cover it up when wearing a blouse.

After all we go thru... some people don't want chemo, some no rads, different treatments. My doctor told me to throw everything I could at the cancer. I really don't worry about it anymore.

Sorry, long post

Hugs,
Karen

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Thank You Karen-I have a small jar of Auqaphor but sounds like I need to invest in a large one? Slather on? lol
Yes, I have 33 fractions planned but will see how that goes. I guess my pain tolerance is low-I tried Bosweilla every hour yesterday to avoid taking any pain relievers and the Vicodin but I never made it past 3:00 PM before the shoulder and arm pains started up the side of my neck and face! I'm going to try to work through this but I also am filling out my FMLA forms tonight just in case I need to take off!

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I did my 33 rads with very little side effects. Sun burned + for me. My skin is white as snow and very sensitive. I did better that I thought even with boost! Now I start Chemo the 7th. They are throwing every thing at me because I am Stg4, inoperable and incurable! I will LIVE one way or the other. See my post on inspire you will know what I mean.

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So sorry Kat
didn't mean to hijack your thread!

Tpolamares well slather it u know liberally all over the radiated areas. and put a guys tee shirt on to absorb it in skin. i would not use deodorant, colognes , anti persperants any spf sprays etc .just clean skin
. just clean skin very gently by dove lather and pat dry.
I guess you are in a great deal of pain with encapsulitis. that can wreck you. did u go to physical therapy??

I would make this a priority , right now can u go out on disability? get ur ligaments and muscles tendons manipulated if you can get a massage therapist who is certified to work with this problem. vicodin will only work so long and then its increase time. bosweillia im not familiar with. have to check that out.

Hope you are feeling better,
karen

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Dear Nanc

Good luck to you, your a fighter. Its hard and it something we have to deal with everyday. Hope your results are great.
Hugs,karen

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Yes, my PT manipulates the banded area just underneath the armpit and the bands in the radial part of the arm and shoulder-I hope I am able to continue to do both-I got to PT twice a week and RT 5 X a week.

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Thanks, I think we are all fighters. If not we would be very sick or have given up. Each to his own wish. Thank you for caring Karen, and stopping to read and reply. My God Bless you..Hug from Nanc

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Karen, No problem! Your information helped T and that is what is important.
Mary, UGH! I haven't even thought about rods in my femur...
Sorrybones, haha that is a funny name! You are right about finding someone whose treatment plan makes sense to them. Just because what makes perfect sense to one person, doesn't necessarily make sense to another.

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Kat, I've had radiation twice - 36 rounds to breast and 10 to right pelvis in November. It was either run the risk of a badly fractured pelvis which would cause a cascade of problems and pain or have the radiation - no brainer really. "Radiation is my friend" as it greatly relieved the pain in my right hip. (Radiation techs for my bc rads used to wear big yellow buttons with that saying!)

The risk of radiation is a moot point for me when faced with the prospect of letting the cancer win or becoming disabled from a shattered vertebrae, femur or hip. Julie

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Julie, That is exactly how I feel. There are too many plusses for me when it comes to having radiation. Love the buttons! I might just have to get some and give them to the techs and nurses where I go.

Kathy

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I had radiation as first line of treatment after my diagnosis stage IV with mets to spine, pelvis, and ribs. Radiation was to L2 spine. It totally eliminated all the pain. Now I'm having it to my breast after lumpectomy and I really fought the decision this time. I guess the 30% chance cancer will come back in lumpectomy bed vs 6% if I have radiation was my deciding factor. I want to get rid of every possibility to stay NED as long as possible. I have a friend whose wife died from a second cancer after radiation, but I can't worry about that. We are all so different. What's the difference which cancer takes us? I want to do everything I can to get rid of what I have right now. Today is all we know we have.

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I know, it's kind of like: This treatment will confer a 1% chance of a future cancer. OR Don't have the treatment and you'll have a 30% chance your cancer will metastasize, cause a fracture, or spread even more and kill you!

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