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.


Thank you to Nat’l Race Chair Camille Grammer for hosting a successful event at her home to get the word out about the National Race to End Women’s Cancer!


The Foundation is featured in the Sept. issues of Coping, Women and Family Circle magazines. Look out for our articles & ads!


Research Prize applications are due 10/28. Click here to apply for one of the 7 available prizes.


The next Ovarian Cancer Survivors Course is Nov. 7 in Washington, D.C. For more information, click here.