Endometrial cancer: Brachytherapy and sex

Posted by miriam57 @miriam57, Jun 23 1:18pm

I had stage1a grade 2 endometrial cancer- brachytherapy is recommended for three sessions- what am I in for and how does it affect sex?

Hello @miriam57 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.

On Connect we have some other members who have spoken about brachytherapy for gynecological cancers. I would like you to meet, @embeth99 who reported having brachytherapy for gynecological cancer. I hope that she joins this discussion to share her experiences with you.

Also, I found an article from the Mayo Clinic news network about Understanding Brachytherapy. Here is the link to that article,
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-with-cancer-understanding-brachytherapy-treatment-for-cancer/.
Here is a link to a Mayo podcast about the use of brachytherapy for breast cancer which might give you a bit more information as well, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/podcasts/newsfeed-post/expedited-breast-cancer-treatment-1/

@miriam57, you were asking how this therapy might affect sex. Were you told of any problems that you might experience with brachytherapy or is this a general concern for you? Also, what other cancer treatments have you had?

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@hopeful33250

Hello @miriam57 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.

On Connect we have some other members who have spoken about brachytherapy for gynecological cancers. I would like you to meet, @embeth99 who reported having brachytherapy for gynecological cancer. I hope that she joins this discussion to share her experiences with you.

Also, I found an article from the Mayo Clinic news network about Understanding Brachytherapy. Here is the link to that article,
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-with-cancer-understanding-brachytherapy-treatment-for-cancer/.
Here is a link to a Mayo podcast about the use of brachytherapy for breast cancer which might give you a bit more information as well, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/podcasts/newsfeed-post/expedited-breast-cancer-treatment-1/

@miriam57, you were asking how this therapy might affect sex. Were you told of any problems that you might experience with brachytherapy or is this a general concern for you? Also, what other cancer treatments have you had?

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Thank you for replying so fast. This is all new.
The radiologist talked about stenosis and ways to help. I thought it would be helpful to hear from women who have gone through this and are dealing with it. I am 63 years old with a new love in my life when this is all happening.

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@miriam57

Thank you for replying so fast. This is all new.
The radiologist talked about stenosis and ways to help. I thought it would be helpful to hear from women who have gone through this and are dealing with it. I am 63 years old with a new love in my life when this is all happening.

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@miriam57

I just found information on a Zoom support group from Mayo Clinic in Florida that you could join. Here is information about who to contact if you are interested. I see that they just had their June meeting on the 8th of June so there probably won't be another one until July. Here is the link to the support group information, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/event/gynecological-cancer-support-group/ regarding the June meeting. I'm sure that if you contact Ms. Walsh that you will be able to get involved in a future meeting. Her phone number is listed at the bottom of this post.

Michelle Walsh, L.C.S.W. Mayo Clinic Oncology Social Worker

Candid Conversations about Gynecological Cancers

Zoom Support Group Meeting
Monday, June 8, 2020
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://mchealth.zoom.us/meeting/register/v5Erf-qprjooihuuDnHMnXBRD6IxvLlgJA
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

For questions or to RSVP please call 904-953-6831

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Here are a few other discussions on Connect which you might find helpful, @miriam57

Women’s Wellness: Possible sexual side effects of cancer treatment:
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/womens-wellness-possible-sexual-side-effects-of-cancer-treatment/
————————————
Mayo Clinic – Endometrial cancer – Diagnosis & Treatment:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometrial-cancer/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352466

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@hopeful33250

@miriam57

I just found information on a Zoom support group from Mayo Clinic in Florida that you could join. Here is information about who to contact if you are interested. I see that they just had their June meeting on the 8th of June so there probably won't be another one until July. Here is the link to the support group information, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/event/gynecological-cancer-support-group/ regarding the June meeting. I'm sure that if you contact Ms. Walsh that you will be able to get involved in a future meeting. Her phone number is listed at the bottom of this post.

Michelle Walsh, L.C.S.W. Mayo Clinic Oncology Social Worker

Candid Conversations about Gynecological Cancers

Zoom Support Group Meeting
Monday, June 8, 2020
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://mchealth.zoom.us/meeting/register/v5Erf-qprjooihuuDnHMnXBRD6IxvLlgJA
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

For questions or to RSVP please call 904-953-6831

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Thank you so much, this is very helpful!!!!

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@miriam57 Glad to help. Will you keep in touch and let me know how you are doing?

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Hi @miriam57. My three brachytherapy sessions, one week apart, 3-1/2 years ago, were uneventful at the time. They followed surgery and chemotherapy, which were more eventful. The radiation itself lasted 5 minutes to 17 minutes, depending upon how charged the radiation machine was. I haven't had a sexual partner since so I can't answer that question. I believe that it worsened my incontinence. I would go through it again in a heartbeat, since it could have prevented recurrence for me. Here are two resources for you. SHARE in NY has just started to offer a Helpline for uterine cancer patients/survivors in addition to their breast and ovarian cancer support. Helpline: 844.ASK.SHARE or 844.275.7427. Also, I work with a pelvic floor physical therapist online in NY. I really, really, really wish that someone had told me about pelvic floor therapists before. Isa Herrera's website is https://pelvicpainrelief.com/ and you can find her on FaceBook at Isa Herrera, MSPT. She has helped almost 15,000 women with pelvic issues and I can't say enough wonderful things about her. I live in Seattle, where I was treated for cancer, so you don't need to live in NY to utilize either of these great resources. Good luck to you Miriam and please post again.

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@embeth99

Hi @miriam57. My three brachytherapy sessions, one week apart, 3-1/2 years ago, were uneventful at the time. They followed surgery and chemotherapy, which were more eventful. The radiation itself lasted 5 minutes to 17 minutes, depending upon how charged the radiation machine was. I haven't had a sexual partner since so I can't answer that question. I believe that it worsened my incontinence. I would go through it again in a heartbeat, since it could have prevented recurrence for me. Here are two resources for you. SHARE in NY has just started to offer a Helpline for uterine cancer patients/survivors in addition to their breast and ovarian cancer support. Helpline: 844.ASK.SHARE or 844.275.7427. Also, I work with a pelvic floor physical therapist online in NY. I really, really, really wish that someone had told me about pelvic floor therapists before. Isa Herrera's website is https://pelvicpainrelief.com/ and you can find her on FaceBook at Isa Herrera, MSPT. She has helped almost 15,000 women with pelvic issues and I can't say enough wonderful things about her. I live in Seattle, where I was treated for cancer, so you don't need to live in NY to utilize either of these great resources. Good luck to you Miriam and please post again.

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I can’t thank you enough for responding!
This is helpful and will make the contacts!!!

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Yes, thank you!!!

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@hopeful33250

Hello @miriam57 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.

On Connect we have some other members who have spoken about brachytherapy for gynecological cancers. I would like you to meet, @embeth99 who reported having brachytherapy for gynecological cancer. I hope that she joins this discussion to share her experiences with you.

Also, I found an article from the Mayo Clinic news network about Understanding Brachytherapy. Here is the link to that article,
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-with-cancer-understanding-brachytherapy-treatment-for-cancer/.
Here is a link to a Mayo podcast about the use of brachytherapy for breast cancer which might give you a bit more information as well, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/podcasts/newsfeed-post/expedited-breast-cancer-treatment-1/

@miriam57, you were asking how this therapy might affect sex. Were you told of any problems that you might experience with brachytherapy or is this a general concern for you? Also, what other cancer treatments have you had?

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Great questions, Yes, I was told what might happen, now some things are happening and I wonder how long it will last and what others have experienced. I haven’t had any other treatments yet..

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I had Stage 1A grade 2 endometrial cancer with lymphatic/vascular invasion. 33% into the endometrial wall. It was recommended to have 3 vaginal brachytherapy sessions. I wonder if others have had this and what the short and long term effects have been with this process?
Thankyou in advance. And if willing to share, how has it impacted your sex life?

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@miriam57

I had Stage 1A grade 2 endometrial cancer with lymphatic/vascular invasion. 33% into the endometrial wall. It was recommended to have 3 vaginal brachytherapy sessions. I wonder if others have had this and what the short and long term effects have been with this process?
Thankyou in advance. And if willing to share, how has it impacted your sex life?

Jump to this post

@miriam57, I know you already got some great feedback from @embeth99. I'd also like to bring @m1b1r9 @jeanadair123 and @polkagal who have had vaginal brachytherapy and they may be able to share more about any short or long-term side effects they experienced, and the impact on sex.

Miriam, you mention "I was told what might happen, now some things are happening." Have you started brachytherapy treatment? What effects are you experiencing?

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@colleenyoung

@miriam57, I know you already got some great feedback from @embeth99. I'd also like to bring @m1b1r9 @jeanadair123 and @polkagal who have had vaginal brachytherapy and they may be able to share more about any short or long-term side effects they experienced, and the impact on sex.

Miriam, you mention "I was told what might happen, now some things are happening." Have you started brachytherapy treatment? What effects are you experiencing?

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I finished. I am a little tired, loose stools, it has been a week. I was told to start the dilators 3 to 4 weeks later. If I press low it is tender, not sure if is from hysterectomy or the radiation. Just wondering what others have experienced

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@miriam57

I finished. I am a little tired, loose stools, it has been a week. I was told to start the dilators 3 to 4 weeks later. If I press low it is tender, not sure if is from hysterectomy or the radiation. Just wondering what others have experienced

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@miriam57. Hoping you are resting and being good to yourself now that you are finished. Since your original post asked about the effects of your treatment on sex, I'd like to share my experience. I'm 68 years old and have been in a long-term relationship for 12 years. Before I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in July, 2019, I was already having painful intercourse due to vaginal dryness. I was scared and the pain became worse after a radical hysterectomy with salpingo-oopherectomy. I had already received mixed messages from my local medical providers on what to do about the vaginal dryness even before last year. When I returned to Mayo Clinic in February this year for my 6 month cancer survivor check, the nurse practitioner who did my gynecological exam gave me information about Mayo Clinic's Women Sexual Health Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/womens-health/center-for-womens-health/services In May, II saw a PT who specializes in pelvic floor health and a psychologist who specializes in sex therapy. The education, advice, and suggested exercises and treatments have made a huge difference. In just these few months, our sex life has been much better. Is there a Women's Sexual Health Clinic near where you live? I read that another member here posted an online resource for pelvic floor health. When you are ready, I hope you will allow these skilled professionals to help and support you and your partner. I'm wishing all the best in your treatment and recovery.

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