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Two questions about WBR and radiation in general


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Despite having been diagnosed an amazing 8 years ago, this is my mother's first experience with radiation. We have a couple questions for the Wise Ones here:

1. We learned today that they suspect some of her leg weakness is being caused by the lesion(s) on her spine, and so they plan to radiate there as well as her brain. We are desperate to get them to do it on days she is already going in for WBR - 14 days/treatments in a row, with weekends off. Is this a reasonable thing to push for? Is there any reason any of you have experienced that they won't agree to do her WBR and spine radiation concurrently?

2. The neurologist we saw today (Dr. Posner at MSKCC, who is making the recommendation that she receive RT to her spine) said that NSCLC "doesn't respond that well to radiation." What did he mean by that? Mom's neuro surgeon, oncologist and radiation oncologist seem confident that radiation will accomplish something. Seems like a mixed message, albeit from different specialists' points of view.

Thanks for any information.


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Hi Aimie,

I don't have any experience with the wbr but I have had spot radiation to my spine. I have not been told that adeno doesn't respond to radiation, in fact I have had it on my spine, pelvis, and skull - all of which have been successful at eradicating the cancer.

The radiation to my spine was at T12 with 10 sessions (Mon-Fri for 2 weeks). I had the radiation 3 years ago and I have no reoccurance.

Of course, everyones situation is different - but I have my fingers crossed that it will work great for your mom too.


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Hi Amie.

Perhaps a reason not to receive both kinds of radiation at once is that it does have a tiring affect on the body. And radiation, can be painful, in areas other than the brain for sure. I am not sure about the brain. It is something that the body needs to recover from so maybe having both at once might have some impact on that.

I responded very well to radiation on my lungs. I think the bones can be a bit trickier but I know there are some who have responded well on this board. I had radiation to the spine and am not really sure how successful it was as still have major pain there but it could just be damage related. But, for sure radiation is very successful in relieving pain for some.

I hope some of this helps.


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My mom has had several rounds of radiation to her spine and hips and has responded beautifully. She has NSCLC. In fact, last summer she received two doses of radiation concurrently--one to her middle spine and one to her hips for about 10 days. It was hard on her, but the two doses did the trick.


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As you know Alan had WBR and the cancer never returned to his brain. The treatments did make him so very tired, but for us a small price to pay for zapping the crap out of his tumor. I can not comment treatments to two different sites at the same time. My contined prayers for your mom (and you)

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