Sunday, March 3, 2024

Radiation And Chemo At The Same Time

How Is Radiation Therapy Given

Chemo and Radiation Treatment Does NOT Work 97% of The Time

Radiation therapy can be given in 3 ways:

  • External radiation : uses a machine that directs high-energy rays from outside the body into the tumor. Its done during outpatient visits to a hospital or treatment center. It’s usually given over many weeks and sometimes will be given twice a day for several weeks. A person receiving external radiation is not radioactive and does not have to follow special safety precautions at home.
  • Internal radiation: Internal radiation is also called brachytherapy. A radioactive source is put inside the body into or near the tumor. With some types of brachytherapy, radiation might be placed and left in the body to work. Sometimes it is placed in the body for a period of time and then removed. This is decided based on the type of cancer. Special safety precautions are needed for this type of radiation for a period of time. But it’s important to know if the internal radiation is left in the body, after a while it eventually is no longer radioactive.
  • Systemic radiation: Radioactive drugs given by mouth or put into a vein are used to treat certain types of cancer. These drugs then travel throughout the body. You might have to follow special precautions at home for a period of time after these drugs are given.

Radiation Therapy For Lung Cancer

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to destroy cancer cells. Most people with lung cancer have radiation therapy. Your healthcare team will consider your personal needs to plan the type and amount of radiation, and when and how it is given. You may also receive other treatments.

Radiation therapy is often combined with chemotherapy to treat lung cancer. This is called chemoradiation. The 2 treatments are given during the same time period. You will not be offered chemoradiation if you aren’t healthy enough to have this type of treatment.

Radiation therapy is given for different reasons. You may have radiation therapy or chemoradiation:

  • as the main treatment for lung cancer that can’t be removed with surgery, or if you don’t want to have surgery

  • after surgery to lower the risk of the cancer coming back

  • to relieve pain or control the symptoms of advanced lung cancer

  • to treat lung cancer that has spread to the brain

  • to prevent small cell lung cancer from spreading in the brain

The following types of radiation therapy are most commonly used to treat lung cancer.

Combining Radiation And Chemotherapy May Improve Outcomes


In the right cancer, radiation and chemotherapy can make a powerful duo.

Like many people with cancer, Gordon Cole underwent a variety of treatments. After receiving a diagnosis of stage 4 rectal cancer in August 2003, the 63-year-old commercial real estate appraiser in Greensboro, N.C., endured multiple surgeries, several rounds of different chemotherapy agents and targeted therapies, and radiation.

As part of his treatment regimen, Cole also received chemoradiotherapy chemotherapy and radiation given concurrently on two occasions. The first time was just after his diagnosis, with an oxaliplatin-based regimen, Cole says, while the second time was more recent, sandwiched between two three-month segments of standard chemotherapy.

Side effects werent too bad, he says, just fatigue toward the last quarter of radiation, and of course, the usual sensitivity to cold from the oxaliplatin. Radiation therapy and chemotherapyestablished treatments for an array of cancer typeswere traditionally given at separate intervals. But CRT is rapidly becoming the regimen of choice in a growing number of cases.

Chemoradiation is now the standard of care for several types of solid tumors that are intermediate stage, says Everett E. Vokes, chairman of the department of medicine at the University of Chicago. For example, it is widely used for treating lung, esophageal, and head and neck cancers, he adds.

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Does Radiation Therapy Cause Cancer

It has long been known that radiation therapy can slightly raise the risk of getting another cancer. Its one of the possible side effects of treatment that doctors have to think about when they weigh the benefits and risks of each treatment. For the most part, the risk of a second cancer from these treatments is small and is outweighed by the benefit of treating the cancer, but the risk is not zero. This is one of the many reasons each case is different and each person must be part of deciding which kind of treatment is right for them. The risk is different depending on where the radiation treatment will be in the body.

If your cancer care team recommends radiation treatment, its because they believe that the benefits youll get from it will outweigh the possible side effects. Still, this is your decision to make. Knowing as much as you can about the possible benefits and risks can help you be sure that radiation therapy is best for you.

Positive Dcis Margins: Concerned About Treatment

Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy

My 42yr old daughter had mastectomy with reconstruction at the same time. She is HR/PR+ HER-, No radiation, no chemo , She also had 2 IVDC tumors in the same breast.No lymph node involvement. Stage 1, grade 2. She is on tamoxifen. May be starting Lupron. Anyone else not have any particular treatment for the positive DCIS margins? Concerned.

Hi, did your daughter end up getting radiation? Im in a very similar boat as her. Im 41 and just had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. I had ER/PR+ HER2- IDC/DCIS stage 1/grade 2 no lymph node involvement and low oncotype. I need to decide if I want radiation since I had a positive margin for the DCIS. Im planning on taking Tamoxifen for the next 5 years. Im leaning on not getting radiation because I worry about all the damage it can cause internally.

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Which Is Harder On The Body: Chemo Or Radiation

It is difficult to say what cancer therapy will be more difficult for your body to handle. Different types and dosages of both chemotherapy and radiation will have different effects.

These effects also differ by the person getting them. So, for example, someone on one treatment might have extreme nausea, while another might have extreme tiredness.

A systemic treatment like chemotherapy or liquid radiation may have more off-target side effects than a local treatment. But local treatments that are administered only to the cancer site, like external beam radiation or solid internal radiation treatment, may have more extreme side effects in that area of the body.

Ask your doctor about what treatment options apply to you and how they could adjust these treatments or care for your symptoms if you have side effects.

Goals Of Chemotherapy And Radiation

Both types of therapy share the same goals:

  • Cure: Get rid of all cancer cells and stop the cancer from coming back
  • Control: Shrink or slow cancer tumors or stop the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body
  • Relief: Shrink tumors to lessen pain and other difficult symptoms of cancer

When a cure isnât possible, both therapies can be powerful tools to slow the progress of your cancer and relieve pain and other uncomfortable symptoms.

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How Much Radiation Therapy Costs

Radiation therapy can be expensive. It uses complex machines and involves the services of many health care providers. The exact cost of your radiation therapy depends on the cost of health care where you live, what type of radiation therapy you get, and how many treatments you need.

Talk with your health insurance company about what services it will pay for. Most insurance plans pay for radiation therapy. To learn more, talk with the business office at the clinic or hospital where you go for treatment. If you need financial assistance, there are organizations that may be able to help. To find such organizations, go to the National Cancer Institute database, Organizations that Offer Support Services and search for “financial assistance.” Or call toll-free 1-800-4-CANCER to ask for information on organizations that may help.

How Can Parents Help

Chemo and Radiation | Cancer Treatment Week 1

Cancer treatment has come a long way. But it can be hard for kids and teens to cope with the sometimes painful or uncomfortable side effects. Fortunately, doctors have many ways to make treatments easier to manage.

Your child also might feel the emotional effects of having a serious illness. Answer questions and help explain what’s going on in an age-appropriate way. Turn to the care team when needed. A hospital support group, child life specialist, social worker, or psychologist from the team can help your child and your whole family before, during, and after cancer treatment.

You also can find information and support online at:

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Potential Causes Of Lung Cancer

Although smoking is a common cause of lung cancer, many people who develop lung cancer quit smoking long before their diagnosis or never smoked in the first place. Exposure to carcinogens such as asbestos and radon can also cause non-small cell lung cancer.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber used in construction materials, vehicle parts, fireproof clothing and equipment, and many household products for many years. Even after asbestos was discovered to be a carcinogen, some manufacturers continued to use it in their products.

Radon is a radioactive gas that forms when uranium, radium, and other radioactive metals break down in soil, rock, and water. Since radon is odorless, people can be exposed to it for years and have no idea. Radon occurs naturally in the atmosphere in trace amounts, but when it enters homes and buildings through cracks in the foundation, it becomes trapped and builds up in the air.

Building owners and landlords can test for radon and take steps to protect people who live and work in their buildings, but many do not.

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Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy

  • Skin conditions: Dry, inflammed skin at the radiation site or the development of breakdown or blistering.
  • Fatigue and stiffness: Can be seen in many patients undergoing radiation, usually toward the latter part of treatment.
  • Swelling : Is usually more associated with the presence of a tumor or recent surgery. Delayed development of swelling from radiation alone is less common, with modern treatment regimens and techniques.
  • Other complications: The possible development of secondary cancers

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Why People With Cancer Receive Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is used to treat cancer and ease cancer symptoms.

When used to treat cancer, radiation therapy can cure cancer, prevent it from returning, or stop or slow its growth.

When treatments are used to ease symptoms, they are known as palliative treatments. External beam radiation may shrink tumors to treat pain and other problems caused by the tumor, such as trouble breathing or loss of bowel and bladder control. Pain from cancer that has spread to the bone can be treated with systemic radiation therapy drugs called radiopharmaceuticals.

Radiation For Colon Cancer

Chemo and radiation are the top #1 cancer causing treatmentsâ¦

It’s not common to use radiation therapy to treat colon cancer, but it may be used in certain cases:

  • Before surgery to help shrink a tumor and make it easier to remove.
  • After surgery, if the cancer has attached to an internal organ or the lining of the belly . If this happens, the surgeon cant be sure that all of the cancer has been removed. Radiation therapy may be used to try to kill any cancer cells that may have been left behind.
  • During surgery, right to the area where the cancer was, to kill any cancer cells that may be left behind. This is called intraoperative radiation therapy or IORT.
  • Along with chemo to help control cancer if a person is not healthy enough for surgery.
  • To ease symptoms if advanced colon cancer is causing intestinal blockage, bleeding, or pain.
  • To help treat colon cancer that has spread to other areas, such as the bones, lungs, or brain.

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When Do Doctors Decide Whether To Use Chemotherapy Or Radiation

When and whether to use chemo or radiation depends on the cancer, the individuals treatment goals, and other factors.

Sometimes, chemotherapy comes first, but this is not always the case. In some cases, a person only has radiation or radiation and chemo at the same time.

Every cancer is different, so there is no way to predict long-term survival or side effects based solely on its treatment. Some cancers have a high survival rate, while others can cause death in just a few months.

Factors to consider ahead of treatment include:

  • Side effects: The side effects of radiation and chemo are similar but vary from drug to drug and person to person.
  • Long-term survival: Both chemo and radiation may improve a persons chances of recovering. Even when a cancer is terminal, a person may live longer with radiation, chemo, or both.
  • Doctors appointments: A person will need regular doctors visits to assess their progress. They may also require medical testing to consider how well their treatment is working.
  • Additional treatment: Chemo and radiation are not the only cancer treatments. A person may need surgery, medication to counteract the side effects of chemo or radiation, and other treatments.

Possible Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy

If you’re going to get radiation therapy, its important to ask your doctor about the possible short- and long-term side effects so that you know what to expect. Possible side effects of radiation therapy for colon and rectal cancer can include:

  • Skin irritation at the site where radiation beams were aimed, which can range from redness to blistering and peeling
  • Problems with wound healing if radiation was given before surgery
  • Rectal irritation, which can cause diarrhea, painful bowel movements, or blood in the stool
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Bladder irritation, which can cause problems like feeling like you have to go often , burning or pain while urinating, or blood in the urine
  • Fatigue/tiredness
  • Sexual problems
  • Scarring, fibrosis , and adhesions that cause the tissues in the treated area to stick to each other

Most side effects should get better over time after treatment ends, but some problems may not go away completely. If you notice any side effects, talk to your doctor right away so steps can be taken to reduce or relieve them.

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How Advanced Is Stage 3 Lung Cancer

According to Healthline, stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer is subdivided into three categoriesstages 3A, 3B, and 3C. The stage indicates the size of the tumor and how much it has spread. No matter which subdivision, stage 3 lung cancers have spread from the lungs to other nearby tissue.

Stage 3A lung cancer remains locally advanced, which means the cancer has spread from the lung to lymph nodes on the same side of the chest, but not to further areas. Cancer may be affecting other parts of the body as well, including:

Stage 3B lung cancer is more advanced than stage 3A. In stage 3B, cancer has spread from the lung to lymph nodes above the collarbone or to nodes on the opposite side of the chest.

Stage 3C lung cancer has spread throughout the chest, but not to more distant parts of the body. In stage 3C, two or more separate tumor nodules in one lobe of a lung have spread to lymph nodes nearby.

When Do Radiation And Chemotherapy Side Effects Start

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You may experience side effects within a few hours of treatment as is the case with certain chemotherapy treatments that gradually begin to improve. Or you may not experience side effects until youve completed several treatment sessions, as is sometimes the case with radiation. Talk to your healthcare provider about when youre most likely to experience side effects based on your treatment type and schedule.

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Head And Neck Cancer Overview

The way a particular head and neck cancer behaves depends on the site in which it arises . For example, cancers that begin in the vocal cords behave very differently than those that arise in the back of the tongue, which is only an inch or less from the vocal cords.

The most common type of cancer in the head and neck is squamous cell carcinoma, which arises from the cells that line the inside of the nose, mouth and throat. Squamous cell cancer is often associated with a history of smoking or exposure to the human papilloma virus . Other less common types of head and neck cancers include salivary gland tumors, lymphomas, and sarcomas. Methods of prevention include avoiding exposure to alcohol and tobacco products as well as vaccinating children and young adults against HPV.

Cancers spread in four main ways. The first is direct extension from the primary site to adjacent areas. The second is spread through the lymphatic channels to lymph nodes. The third is spread along nerves to other areas of the head and neck. The fourth is spread through the blood vessels to distant sites in the body. In head and neck cancer, spread to the lymph nodes in the neck is relatively common.

The diagnosis of cancer of the head and neck is often made by a dentist, oral surgeon or physician after a patient notices symptoms such as a lump in the neck or a sore in the mouth that does not heal. Even without symptoms, the diagnosis may be made during a routine examination.

Chemotherapy And Radiation Together Extend Lung Cancer Patients’ Lives

Thomas Jefferson University
Chemotherapy given at the same time as radiation therapy can help patients with a certain type of lung cancer live nearly 50 percent longer than they might have otherwise if the same treatment was given differently, according to a new article.

Chemotherapy given at the same time as radiation therapy can help patients with a certain type of lung cancer live nearly 50 percent longer than they might have otherwise if the same treatment was given differently, according to an international team’s analysis of several trial results.

Walter Curran Jr., M.D., professor and chair of Radiation Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia, led one of six trials comparing the effectiveness of giving chemotherapy at the same time as radiation therapy versus giving radiation first, followed later by chemotherapy, to treat locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer .

According to Dr. Curran, there had been some controversy over whether simultaneous administration of chemotherapy and radiation for such cases was better than sequential delivery. In the United States, chemotherapy and radiation together have become the standard, whereas in other areas, such as Europe, for example, this has not been the case.

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