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Mary Shares Her Thoughts On Brachytherapy (VIDEO)

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Mary explains her experience with brachytherapy and the side effects caused by the treatment.

That’s a great question. Brachytherapy is often used for prostate cancer, so when you go to the Internet to start researching for brachytherapy, it is going to be hard to find it for its use to uterine cancer. So one of the things, just FYI, that I did is I had so many friends saying, "What can I do for you, what can I do for you?” and you run out of things for your friends to do. So I had a couple of friends, I said, "Do the research on brachytherapy for me."

But it is used for uterine cancer, and it’s where they put a tube up your vagina that aims directly at where the tumor was. Now brachytherapy, I have to say, is the most degrading thing I have ever gone through in my life because your most private parts of your body are just out there all the time.

I had read Fran Drescher’s book, “Cancer Schmancer,” because she had had uterine cancer, and they had advised her to have brachytherapy, and she turned it down because her research showed that, I don’t remember, but that it affected the vagina, made sex after brachytherapy difficult, etc. etc.

So I asked my radiation oncologist about that and he says, "Oh, I can’t believe you would bring something so unscientific in here to talk about," I said, "Oh, but this is where you get the real stories." And so I want to tell everybody, it is a real story, and my questions were just totally pooh-poohed and totally pushed off to the side.

So, it’s not a point where I am saying don’t have brachytherapy, but realize that that can be an outcome and take proactive steps to correct that immediately upon receiving and finishing that treatment rather than waiting two-three years to find out and then having a lot harder time because it creates scar tissue.

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EmpowHER Guest

You are absolutely correct. One, information is extremely hard to find. Secondly, it is indeed the most degrading and absolutely humiliating thing you can experience--it feels like being raped under bright lights with a crowd watching--and the excruciating pain you undergo for the insertion and withdrawal of the medical devices in your vagina and cervix is not explained beforehand. I might well have foregone the interal radiation had I known in advance, which is probably why they don't tell you!

September 17, 2009 - 7:57pm
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