Radiotherapy after radical hysterectomy which was 5 weeks ago

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The results from surgery were that all the cancer was contained in  the pelvis and hadn't spread beyond womb muscle, but there were some cancer cells in the cervix. However, one  0.2mm micrometasis was found in one of the 4 lymph glands removed. That was all. Now I have to see oncologist this week re adjuvant therapy. I am almost 77 and have chronic muscle pain and trapped sciatica nerve and back problem.  Will radiotherapy really be necessary?

Could I get away with 1 or 2 brachytherapy sessions?  Even with that I'm worried about my pain increasing with that, and damage to my lower back - is this a possibility please and would It be foolish to refuse any further treatment?

Many thanks.


  • Dear Annimay

    Thank you for contacting us here at Macmillan Cancer Support.  My name is Rae and I am a Cancer Information Nurse Specialist.

    The best placed people to talk to about whether treatment is suitable and appropriate for you is your womb cancer team.  They hold a multi-disciplinary team meeting to decide the best treatment for you in your situation.

    They have offered you brachytherapy, but it is your decision whether or not to take the treatment. Brachytherapy is offered for womb cancer, where there is a small risk of cancer cells being left in the area around the top of the vagina after surgery.  As the dose is localised, far fewer people get side effects compared to standard radiotherapy.

     Making treatment decisions can be difficult for some people, especially, if like yourself, you have other health issues to consider.  You may want to speak to your team about your concerns, and ask them what benefits the treatment will bring, and if you choose not to have it, what is the likely outcome.  There is a booklet from The Christie Hospital which says that any existing medial conditions are not generally made worse by brachytherapy. 

    It is common to have lots of worries which can impact on your emotions.  We have information about seeking help with how you are feeling.

    If you wish, you can speak to our nurses on the Support Line.  They can chat over concerns and offer support whilst making your decision.

    Best wishes

    Rae, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist


    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email.