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raditaion b/f surgery?

Forums General Melanoma Community raditaion b/f surgery?

  • Post
    Linda J
    Participant

      Has anyone had success with radiation before surgery?  The tumor on my butt/hip is fairly big (about the size of ping-pong ball) and has caused a lot of redness and swelling on the skin surface, so the idea so far is to do radiation to "sterilize" tissue around the tumor that may be impacted and to maybe shrink the tumor so that the surgery isn't as huge and also so that if there is any micro-involvement in the surrounding tissue, that is doesn't get pushed around and stuff with the reconstructive part of the surgery.  Does that make sense?  Or should I

      Has anyone had success with radiation before surgery?  The tumor on my butt/hip is fairly big (about the size of ping-pong ball) and has caused a lot of redness and swelling on the skin surface, so the idea so far is to do radiation to "sterilize" tissue around the tumor that may be impacted and to maybe shrink the tumor so that the surgery isn't as huge and also so that if there is any micro-involvement in the surrounding tissue, that is doesn't get pushed around and stuff with the reconstructive part of the surgery.  Does that make sense?  Or should I just ask to have the surgery and then radiation?  They will be radiating my groin as well as doing a LND to the groin area, but they were hoping to have both the groin surgery and the tumor removal done at the same time. 

      The radiologist also said that the radiation will for sure hit my ovaries – I know this is a whole other issue, but would it be worth it to have eggs harvested before the radiation?? I'm 30. 

      I am just totally completely freaked out because of the size of the tumor.  So far all my scans are clean, but when I go to bed at night all I think about is "how did this get so big" and "oh my god, this tumor is way bigger than my other reoccurances" .  I CAN NOT sleep because I am freaking out about how big this melanoma is.  I have never been so scared and so low.  I don't even know what to do this time to keep sane.

      Has anyone had radiation first and then surgery and did that work for you? And has anyone else had a big tumor that they were able to beat?

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    • Replies
        bill58
        Participant

          I had the surgery first, with LND and then radiation.

          Actually I am still going through radiation.  8 treatments left.  From talking to the doctors, the said that Melanoma is not normally treated by radiation and i did not think it would impact the size of the tumor.  They did radiation in my case because they did not get clean margins and I did not qualify for other treatments like IPI without clean margins.

          They are doing radiation to the surgery site/skin graft area and also the LND site to try to kill any floating cancer cells that are remaining.  I sure hope that it kills them all. 

          I started the radiation about 7 weeks after surgery.  I had some physical therapy just before the radiation started and completed that the first week of radiation.  The leg felt great at that time.  I was able to walk 2 miles without any discomfort and also bike 7 miles with a little discomfort and tiredness.  After about 2-21/2 weeks into the radiation, the cumulative effects hit me.  I started getting tired more and my leg hurt like a son of a gun.  Thankfully I had some pain pills left over from the surgery.  The skin graft area developed some blisters that opened up.  The radiation oncologist had not seen this before.  i talked to the Plastic surgeon and he said it was normal.  The radiation oncologist does not normally treat skin graft areas that soon after surgery so he did not tend to see too many of them.  I had leg swelling after the surgery and once the skin graft area started to get red, raw and sore, it started to leak the lymph fluid from the skin graft area after the outer layer of skin had been burned and peeled away.  Quite a mess, no matter what type of bandages I tried to use.  They used abdominal pads, but they did not have any protective coating on the side away from the skin so if I walked around too much, the fluid would soak all the way through the pads.  I talked to people at wound care at the hospital and they said to use baby diapers.  Kind of a goofy idea, but once I got the right size (size 6 for my 8 x 12 skin graft area, they worked fairly well.  I used to use 4 of the size 2 diapers, 3 size 4 and only 2 size 6.  They have a backing to keep the moisture from leaking through.  There are new pads on the market that just came out in May that I ordered, called Xtrasorb.  hopefully they will work better than the abdominal pads.  Just ordered them today.  They are 6 x 9 so I will need 2 per dressing change.

          Good luck on your journey.  Cant wait for mine to get better.  Hopefully in another 8 days when radiation ends.

           

           

          Bill stage iiiC.

          Jim M.
          Participant

            Hi Linda,

             

             I also had surgery (to my right axillary ) first and then 6 weeks of radiation. My doctor told me the radiation would decrease my chance of getting a local recurrence from 60 to 10%. Best of success.

             

             Jim M.

             Stage 3C

            NED 2years 10 months

            Kevin from Atlanta
            Participant

              The standard is surgery then radiation. I have heard of situatiions where the need to do radiation first due to the tumor size or location. I wish you the best.

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