• What happens after radiation if it doesnt work?

    Asked by KristyWieser on Thursday, November 22, 2012

    What happens after radiation if it doesnt work?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      What do you mean by it not working? Radiation kills cells which is what it is intended to do, so unless the machine is broken or for some reason you had to quit the treatments, I don't know what you mean about it doesn't work.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      If radiation does not kill all of the cancer cells, or if they have already spread beyond the radiation site then doctors will typically turn to che mo of some type. Radiation is a targeted treatment that goes after a very specific location. It will kill the cells that are targeted over time, but it does nothing to attack cancer cells in areas not targeted. Chemo is a broad area treatment that goes after the cancer essentially anywhere in the body thus it is used when cancer has or may have spread.

      almost 5 years ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      You might be getting ahead of yourself a bit. Let doctor treat the disease and see what happens. As to fear and worry, ever notice how many of your worst fears never actually happened? Have confidence in doctor and take one day at a time. If you still have doubts, have another doctor review the case. In the meantime, enjoy each and every day to the fullest, since we are given only one day at a time to live.

      I know of a 95 year old woman who underwent both radiation and chemo for multiple myeloma and is doing rather well.

      almost 5 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      I remember asking myself this same thing over and over again when first diagnosed. Fear will always win but let me ask you this.....What if it works??

      almost 5 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Kristy, hello..my name is Carm and I am an oncology/end of life nurse. I can answer that question if I had more information, but not knowing the patients stage of MM I can only tell you that beside radiation, chemotherapy, sometimes surgery to any bone lesions that are destroying the bone, called lytic lesions, or a stem cell transplant. You have to understand that Multiple Myeloma is a disease of the B cells of the immune system, specifically the plasma cells in the bone marrow that are producing increased rates of monoclonal immunoglobulins or antibodies like IgG, IgA, IgM, or IgD, or producing what are called Bence-Jones Protiens, a string of these monoclonals linked together. Usually treatment isn't initiated at all unless the patient is symptomatic, it they display no symptoms or discomfort, they are monitored usually about every three months or so until there is evidence of disease progression. Always think positive, but have that plan B in the back pocket. When you speak to the doctor, ask what the next step will be so you know what direction to prepare for should the radiotherapy fail. Sometimes it may be just infusions of a steroid like dexamethasone, alone or with another drug like Doxil or Velcade. It is good to ask these questions before they become an issue so that should you have to transition, you will do so seamlessly because you pondered questions like this in advance. Best of luck to you, and know that I am here should you need any more information, Carm.

      almost 5 years ago

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