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Have had a hysterectomy. Diagnosed with endometrial cancer grade 4. Safe to go for brachytherapy?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
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Yes, Thank you..I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer grade 4 and have had a hysterectomy..I will need 5 or 6 brachytherapy treatments and was wondering about side effects and the actual treatment
The therapy I will be receiving will be the XXXXXXX kind
Posted Sat, 20 Apr 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 5 hours later
Thanks for the query. XXXXXXX radiotherapy or brachytherapy is given by placing the radioactive material inside the body near the tumour. In your case, the radioactive material would be placed in vagina.
There are 2 types of brachytherapy used for endometrial cancer, low-dose rate (LDR) and high-dose rate (HDR).
Now a days HDR is used as it is more intense, takes less time and patient can return home same day.
Short term side effects are fatigue,tiredness,upset stomach,diarrhea,urine problem,vaginal irritation and discharge,anemia,leukopenia etc
Long term side effects are vaginal dryness,weakening of bones which may cause hip fracture,swelling of legs called as lymphedema,long term side effects on bowel and bladder.

If you are having side effects from radiation, discuss them with your doctor. There are things you can do to get relief from these symptoms or to prevent them from happening.

I hope it helps however you may revert to me for any further query.
Best of luck
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Follow-up: Have had a hysterectomy. Diagnosed with endometrial cancer grade 4. Safe to go for brachytherapy? 14 hours later
Thanks Dr. XXXXXXX ..what can I do to prepare myself before my therapy? I am concerned with diet and medications if needed
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 1 hour later
It is very important for you to take very good care of yourself before, during, and after the radiotherapy. This includes eating well so that you get right amount of calories to maintain good weight. You also need sufficient proteins to keep up your strength. Eating well helps you feel better and have more energy.

You may work with a number of other healthcare professionals while undergoing radiation therapy. These specialists ensure that all of your physical and psychological needs are met during your treatment.

Nutritionists can help you maintain your weight during treatment. They will help you modify your eating plan if the side effects of treatment are affecting your appetite, will determine what you can eat and can provide recipes, menu suggestions and information on ready-to-use nutritional supplements.

Physical therapists use exercises to help your body function properly while you are undergoing treatment. These exercises can help manage side effects, alleviate pain, and keep you healthy.
Do's for you during therapy
..Take plenty of rest
...Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet under the guidance of your nutritionist.
..Take proper vitamins and minerals as advised
...may take the help of support group for any psychological disturbance during the treatment.

As far as medications, prior to the surgery, are concerned, your doctor shall be able to tell you more about it.
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