Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy x-rays, or other types of radiation, to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing.
Radiation therapy can be used:

  • Instead of surgery to treat early-stage endometrial cancer although this is uncommon.
  • Before surgery, to shrink the cancer (called neoadjuvant therapy).
  • After surgery, to kill any cancer cells that may have been left behind (called adjuvant therapy).

Two types of radiation therapy are used to treat endometrial cancer:

  • External radiation therapy uses a machine that directs the x-rays toward a precise area on the body. The therapy is usually givenevery day for about 6 weeks. It does not hurt and only takes a few minutes each day. You can be treated at a clinic, hospital or radiationoncology office.
  • Internal radiation therapy (also called brachytherapy) involves placing a small capsule of radioactive material inside the vagina. This procedure can be performed either on an inpatient or outpatient basis, depending upon your treatment teams’ recommendation.

Side Effects of Radiation

The side effects of radiation therapy depend on the dose used and the part of the body being treated. Common side effects include:

  • Dry, reddened skin in the treated area
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Discomfort when urinating
  • Narrowing of the vagina
  • Anemia

Most of these side effects are temporary. Be sure to talk with your treatment team members about any side effects you experience. They can help you find ways to manage them.

Spotlight

Visit the Sisterhood of Survivorship page to read “Dena’s Story” — by a vulvar cancer survivor who has shared her story and wise words, and channeled her energy into her National Race to End Women’s Cancer team.

Awareness

The CDC recently announced that fewer than half of American children are given the HPV vaccination.

Research

As of the July 23 deadline, 55 research abstracts were submitted in hopes of receiving one of only 6 grants from the Foundation. This points to a need for more funding so that the Foundation may award grants to every deserving applicant.

Education

The Gynecologic Cancer Global Health Forum will be Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014 in D.C.. For more information on educational events and courses, click here.