Radiation Therapy

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

For women being treated for vaginal cancer, the radiation can be delivered in two way: (1) external radiation is directed at the entire abdomen or just the pelvis, depending on the location of the cancer; and (2) during internal radiation (brachytherapy) radioactive devices are placed in the vagina or surrounding tissue for a specified period of time.

The extent of the cancer dictates which or both of these delivery systems are used and in what order.

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

2015 National Race to End Women’s Cancer registration is now OPEN! Register early to reserve your team name. See you Nov. 8!

Awareness

Radiation side effects can cause their own symptoms and suffering. Cervical cancer survivor @tranetteiswrite reports on the issue in her new piece.

Research

The Foundation for Women’s Cancer is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2014-2015 Research Grant and Prizes. View the PDF.

Education

The next Ovarian Cancer Survivors Course is May 8 in Orlando, FL. For more information, click here.