Wednesday, September 12, 2012

To Radiate or Wait?

So the decision on whether to do radiation therapy before or after surgery is mine. My doc says he thinks the choices are relatively equal in my case. His patients typically get pre-op radiation therapy, but its also usually more black and white. My case is more grey. Enter the pros & cons list.



  • lower radiation dose, shorter treatment period, smaller treatment area
  • "Sterilizes" the area before surgery

  • delays surgery for 8-9 weeks. That's a long time to keep this tumor and the pain.
  • Can cause healing problems after surgery
  • May still need a "booster" round of radiation after surgery
  • Can complicate surgery


  • Surgery will be sooner
  • No "booster" sessions. Just one round.
  • May not need the radiation if surgery produces clear enough margins.
  • Longer treatment time, higher dose, larger area
So, with the input of my husband and family, and listening to my own gut, i'm going to go with post-op. I think the best thing to do it to get this thing out of my body before we cross the line to high-grade, or it gets worse. I know that means more radiation, but the radiation oncologist says that this area is easy enough to treat, and the added risk is minimal.

So the next step is to meet the thoracic surgeon that will work with my doc to do the surgery, and get this thing scheduled!

p.s. At the request of my loved ones, I added a subscription option to the left.

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