Vulvar cancer radiation: Helpful tricks & tips to manage pain?

Posted by bobette1 @bobette1, Jan 19 1:50pm

I had surgery to remove Vulvar squamous cell cancer 8 weeks ago. Today I found out they removed six lymph nodes and I have to have radiation and chemotherapy for this. I was told radiation 5 days a week for 5 to 6 weeks and chemo in there somewhere to I'll find out my full plan on Monday just wondering if anybody's been through this being that it's down in the vulva area and how do you get through it without being in tons of pain. The Dr said I will feel like my skin's on fire. Any helpful tricks or tips that will help me get through this would be greatly appreciated.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Gynecologic Cancers Support Group.

@bobette1, good question to ask fellow members and get out in from of this. I'm tagging fellow vulvar cancer members @ljchicago @sillywabbit @jeanadair123 @shanbam @afrikachef to see if they've had radiation and/or chemo yet.

You may also be interested in this related discussion:
– What Kind of Radiation Did You Get for Your Gynecological Cancer? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/types-of-radiation-treatments-for-gynecological-cancers/

At your appointment on Monday, you might also ask to speak with a symptom management nurse for tips too.

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@bobette1 I had radiation therapy for endometrial cancer so my experience will be different from yours. I wanted to share that before the radiation started I had an appointment with the radiation oncology nurse and the doctor. They both explained what would happen and what side effects, if any, I could have. They had suggestions for how to treat any side effects from radiation therapy and how to take care of myself while I was being treated.

Other members @ljchicago @sillywabbit @jeanadair123 @shanbam who have vulvar cancer who may have had radiation therapy or chemotherapy can hopefully provide you with more information on their personal experiences.

Is the appointment you have next Monday with the radiation oncologist? If yes, can you write down your questions before then and talk with them about what to expect?

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@naturegirl5

@bobette1 I had radiation therapy for endometrial cancer so my experience will be different from yours. I wanted to share that before the radiation started I had an appointment with the radiation oncology nurse and the doctor. They both explained what would happen and what side effects, if any, I could have. They had suggestions for how to treat any side effects from radiation therapy and how to take care of myself while I was being treated.

Other members @ljchicago @sillywabbit @jeanadair123 @shanbam who have vulvar cancer who may have had radiation therapy or chemotherapy can hopefully provide you with more information on their personal experiences.

Is the appointment you have next Monday with the radiation oncologist? If yes, can you write down your questions before then and talk with them about what to expect?

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I met with radiology Dr yesterday and he gave me some info. I was just looking for people that already went through it for advice. I am super worried about my skin. It seems sensitive already from the surgery I had intense itching that was driving me insane and to hear the doctor say it'll feel like my body is on fire just want to make sure I'm prepared for it

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I had weeks of radiation for vaginal cuff cancer and breast cancer. I didn’t really have any side effects burning on fire on my skin, of all the drs that I had Sutter, Mayo and Stanford no one ever said that my skin would burn. Maybe it’s the chemotherapy that causes it.
I had brachytherapy which affected my anal area if you are having brachytherapy therapy I can help with that.
I thought the radiation was pretty basic just had to drink water before, my anxiety was caused by myself hoping that they put it in the right area. Tired yes but that comes with the radiation but not so tired that I couldn’t do anything. Remember drs have to tell you the worse scenarios, not everyone is effected the same. You will get through this as I said my area of concern was my anal area form the brachytherapy. Reach out if I can help.

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@bobette1

I met with radiology Dr yesterday and he gave me some info. I was just looking for people that already went through it for advice. I am super worried about my skin. It seems sensitive already from the surgery I had intense itching that was driving me insane and to hear the doctor say it'll feel like my body is on fire just want to make sure I'm prepared for it

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@bobette1 It's so difficult to get yourself ready for treatments that you have decided on and yet without the actual experience you have worries about what it will be like. @jeanadair123 is so right. You get the worst case scenarios because I guess the doctors and nurses have to tell you this and then with the worries you already have it expands into even more when you hear all of that.

So here's the thing. You might have some of the side effects. And you might not. It's very good to know what to expect. When you know ahead of time what might happen and your cancer care team describes everything they will do before they do it, this can help a lot.

Will you reach out again and let us know how you are feeling?

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I will be praying for you! I see my oncologist in February to have the surgery could you tell me how long your stay was at the hospital? I'm pretty scared ive had 21 people pass this last year most of different types of cancer. My dad and my3 grown kids are all thats left in my family My dad has prostate bladder and bone cancer he will be moving in with me next month. Does stress make it worse

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