Collateral damage from radiation?

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Collateral damage from radiation?

Postby Retiredprof » Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:38 pm

Happy to hear that someone with Stage 4 is still alive! Congratulations! I was diagnosed with Stage 3 rectal cancer in October. Was supposed to start radiation and chemo but radiation oncologist was afraid rectum might close up completely so she advised a colostomy first which I had on November 10. Still waiting for last bit of incision to heal. I'm scared about the collateral damage that radiation may cause. Any advice?

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O Stoma Mia
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Re: Targeted rectal radiation - IMRT IGRT

Postby O Stoma Mia » Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:57 pm

Retiredprof wrote:... I'm scared about the collateral damage that radiation may cause. Any advice?

Collateral damage can be minimized by using radiation machines that target specific locations and that modulate the radiation intensity according to the regions that actually need some radiation. In this case, the level of collateral damage depends on the skill of the radiologist who is responsible for programming the machine to target certain areas and avoid other areas.

There are several companies that make linear accelerators (radiation machines) that do targeted radiation. When you meet with your oncologist you can ask which machine will be used in your case and what type of capability it has to target the radiation so as to avoid radiating critical adjacent organs or structures.

For rectal cancer, I think the big problem with collateral damage would be with radiation to the sphincter muscles. If intense radiation is allowed to creep into this area, then I think there will be problems in the future in getting the sphincter muscles to work properly. (This is just my personal opinion)

. ostomamia
Last edited by O Stoma Mia on Sun May 06, 2018 1:26 pm, edited 6 times in total.

Leighann Sturgin
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Re: Collateral damage from radiation?

Postby Leighann Sturgin » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:26 pm

There could be some changes in your sexual function. I wish someone would have told me about before radiation.
F 44 yo
3/04 dxd colon cancer stage IV (Lynch)
4/04 colectomy
8/04 hyserectomy
1/05 debulking, HIPEC, ileostomy
short bowel syndrome- TPN and IV fluid dependent
1/06 HIPEC
07 splenectomy
Vaccine trail
12 right nephrectomy
NED since 07
2015 Colondar 2.0 Miss May
2016 Kidney disease
2016 permanent left nephrostomy

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Re: Collateral damage from radiation?

Postby Redtexa5 » Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:38 am

Mia that was an awesome response to Retiredprof's question. The only thing I might add is that what ever collateral damage the radiation might cause it will be less than the collateral damage you would have with metastatic colon cancer. You need to keep your eye on the main prize darlin your going to pay a price for being cured but the time to total up the bill is perhaps at the end of the journey.
Start of symptoms 9/08
Dx Stage IIIc/IV CC 2/09
Colostomy 2/09
Radiation/5FU 3/09-5/09
FOLFOX 6 6/09-8/09
9/09 Tumor removed Colostomy reversed
10/09-1/10 FOLFOX 6
3/10-2/15 NED
2/14 Colonoscopy NED
2/15 Colonoscopy NED
2/17 7 years NED

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Re: Collateral damage from radiation?

Postby ab123 » Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:59 am

I had radiation to the rectum 2 years ago. The machine they used on me was a Varian TrueBeam, and it reduces collateral damage by shooting from multiple angles - I think 4 in my case. This allows the maximum dose to be delivered only at the intersection of the multiple beam angles. The other areas through which the x-rays travel get a partial dose that is much less damaging. The part that received the maximum dose (the rectum) was, of course, removed during the lower anterior resection (LAR) operation. They were very careful about targeting - using MRI and CT scans to model the exact position of the tumor and then tattooing dots on my skin to align the machine properly every time. I was impressed with the careful process and the level of technology applied to preventing collateral damage to healthy tissue.

Today I notice that when I have to pee I really have to pee - the sensation of having to go can be much more urgent than it used to be. I think that's a result of radiation. Although I don't think I have to go much more often. Sexual function has been ok but possibly affected somewhat.

All in all, I would take these relatively minor side effects any day over the significant risk of recurrence that I have hopefully reduced. So far I'm happy with the results.
Aug 2012: RC DX Stage IIIC, T3N2M0 by MRI - 38M
Fall 2012: Chemorad
Nov 2012: LAR - Path report: 0/13 LNs, tumor reduced to "microscopic foci"
Jan-Apr 2013: 8 rounds FOLFOX
May 2013: Ileostomy takedown, port removal
July 2013 (and since): NED!

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Re: Collateral damage from radiation?

Postby singingholly » Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:37 am

Retiredprof wrote:Happy to hear that someone with Stage 4 is still alive! Congratulations!

Did you read a second time your words...?! Personally I keep for myself the answer to such an introduction, it's in italian you know...
Dec2011 sigm IIIst res T3N1(2/18)M0 Xelox
Oct2012 5liv.mets Dec 2012 liv.res
Jan2013 1liv.met Folfiri+avastin
Jul2013 liv.res Folfiri+/av
Feb2014 10+2lu.mets & 1abd node Folfoxiri+SBRT
Sep2014 Res rx l. BUT spot on diaph:SBRT
Dec2014 3+6lu.mets.Immuno

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