External beam radiation.. anyone else had this kind?

We found out what type of radiation my Dad will be getting. He will be getting External Beam radiation to both his chest and his brain simultaneously. I know there are other types of radiation, but apparently this is the radiation that would be most appropriate. Has anyone else had this kind of radiation before for small cell lung cancer?

21 Replies

  • Hi Lesley ,

    I am currently getting radiation but I think it's called short wave burst radiation. It involves an area of certain size and everything in that area gets treated. I'm guessing your dad will be getting cyber knife which is more targeted in small area.

    Best wishes,


  • While I don't have sclc this is the type of radiation I had. When will dad's treatment start? Where is his cancer located in the lungs?

    Type and intensity of side effect will vary depending on the part of the lung to be radiated. Mine was near the esophagus so I experienced burning of the esophagus and swallowing became very painful.

    Fatigue was another issue especially as it will be given at the same time as the chemo.

    Use moisturizer on the portion of the back where the radiation was beamed after treatment.

  • My dads radiation starts January 30th because i guess it takes a couple of weeks to get it all set up. His cancer was located in his right lung and a lymph node on the left hand side near his neck. Then of course the new spot on his brain.

  • I had the same radiation as Denzit.

    My esophagus was burnt so bad I could not eat or drink for weeks .I had to go be hydrated at my Cancer Dr. Office to keep going .I was told to use Dove soap while doing radiation. Do be sure to use a moisturizer on back area .For me radiation was worse then chemo .Best of luck & GOD BLESS YOU .Mimi

  • This is NOT an uncommon form of radiation when cancer is present in multiple sites. Sounds like the oncology team has a good plan for your dad. Prayers continue!


  • Thanks Cliff!

  • I've never heard of it but am interested in knowing how it works differently from the traditional radiation.

  • Hi Lesley: Just wondering what external beam radiation is. I have never heard of it before. I have small cell lung cancer for going on 4 years now. The small cell has come back 3 times. It is, however, still in the very early stage, but cancer none the less. I hope you and your dad are doing ok. You are in my prayers. God bless you both.

  • I'm not 100% sure how it differs from other kinds of radiation. All so nerve wracking.. :/

  • Lesleykay,

    Take a peek at this: cancer.gov/publications/pat...

    Bless you for being such a great advocate for your Dad. You are the best!

  • Thank you for this!

  • This helps a lot! Thanks

    For sharing!

  • I had this type of Radiation I had for my lung tumor - for (Non Small Cell) - but a different type for my brain met. The link below (from Peggy) shows some pics and tells you more about it. Like others have said, the procedure is painless and it doesn't take very long for each treatment. The first few take the longest as they are doing the measurements and set up. The process of going day after day was exhausting and I found that fatigue to the worst part. I had a 40 minute drive (each way) and was taking myself to and from each appointment, due to a conflict with my husband's work schedule. That probably made it worse, and I would come home and go right up stairs to take a nap. I think it would have been easier If someone else had done the driving. It's hard when everyone you know works and you need to drive yourself. He took (and my sons) have taken me to many other appointments and I did not want any of them to use "vacation time" for Cancer. Thankfully most of my other treatments are done a my local hospital, much closer to home.

    Due to my lung tumor location, I also experienced the burning in my esophagus and was given a script for a Med called "Magic Mouthwash" which did help some with eating. Soft foods will be best for awhile and that feeling does improve once the radiation ends. I also had some skin burning an was given a skin care cream called " My Girls" mygirlscream.com/ (they Have one for Guys too), and it's designed for Radition burns. I also developed a cough during radiation, which they said can be a normal side effect. Once I was done with Radiation the cough slowly ended and have never come back. The burning also did not last long -- I had mine just before Thanksgiving (2015) and we were all able to fly out to San Diego the week of Thanksgiving for a pre-planned family trip. I was so thankful that we could still go.

  • Thanks for giving me some insight on your experiences with the radiation. These are very helpful things that I will be looking for when my Dad goes through it. Did you find the radiation to be successful? Has the cancer returned at all?

  • The SRS (done for my brain met) was 100% successful and there has been no recurrence. As for my Lung Tumor, I'm still battling that, and am currently stable, and on a treatment break. I've also had Chemo and most currently "Immunotherapy" (Opdivo) which seems to be working well. My tumor is now very tiny (14 mm) and has been stable at that size for the last several months. I have not reached (NED) No Evidence of Disease, but I'm doing pretty darn good !! I also have a different type of lung cancer than your Dad (Mine is Non-Small Cell Adenocarcinoma) -- it's likely he may have a totally different type of Chemo/Immunotherpay after his radiation. My Cancer is Stage IV, so I'll likely been in treatment for a very long time, possibly forever.

  • My husband has small cell. It was found 1 year ago on 1/14/16 . He had 6 rounds of chemo, 30 radiation treatments. Then they did 10 to the brain just to be safe. They told us with small call it spreads easily, but responds well to the treatments. After 4 rounds of chemo they did another scan to check it out. It was gone. Now we just found out it went into pancreas. Tomorrow he gets molded for his new and different radiation . Can't remember the name, other than its high powered and goes exactly to the spot. But only 5 treatments.

    As he went through all of his treatments I have been with him. He didn't get sick at all, just very tired and heartburn was worse. They gave extra meds, worked well. He is back to just one. He did get the radiation burns on his back. Marks have all went away. We didn't ask how bad they will be. But we will deal with it.

    We have a great bunch of people at the Hahne Cancer Center. We told them up front- no candy coating. Give it to us straight. They have been great. He didn't loose his hair till after all the treatments to the brain. But it's back now.

    I try to keep his mood up. But it can be tough. Our saying is - it is what it is. My husband is 63. I'm taking early retirement in February. I get 3 weeks vacation, I'm not giving it back to them. But I want my time here. I'm 62 in !ay.

    Good luck to both of you and the rest of your family.

  • Thank you. I hope all goes well for your husband. He seems like a strong person! Thank you for sharing.

  • Deb,

    Thank you for sharing your story. The folks in this community really hold one another up and they understand how complicated this path is to navigate. Please know we are all holding both of you close in our thoughts. And be proud of the wonderful support you are giving Dick, you are his rock.



  • Hi Lesley,

    After reading more about this I found out it is exactly the same type radiation as I am getting. So far I've not had any severe side effects really. Although treatment number 3 did burn my neck and chest area for some reason , even doc said this was strange . I had total of 8 treatments now and that's the only one that gave problems. I have never been one who wears jogging outfits or pj's but I would highly recommend it for this treatment , they have to stretch arms back over head and it's not comfortable at all, good news is it doesn't last very long. The aluminum free deodorant was hard to find for me but finally had pharmacy to order it, name is Toms.

    Good luck hope this helps ,


  • Thank you RWHayes! This is great info and I appreciate you following up with me on it. Hearing others stories and experiences does help. Thank you again.

  • We will help dad fight this!! No cancer is bigger than our fight!

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