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Radiotherapy - couldn’t do it on first day?

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Radiotherapy - couldn’t do it on first day?

Hello everyone

My wonderful mum was due to have her first radiotherapy treatment today to treat a 2B tumour with lymph node involvement. She had her first Chemo and then went for her scan and was told her bowel and bladder was too big, they sent her to the toilet, did another scan and was told it was still too big so couldn’t start treatment as wouldn’t be able to target the tumour correctly. Has this happened to anyone else? Obviously we’ve been planning today as the first day of her getting better and for it to be postponed is worrying us. What happens if it’s still too big tomorrow etc? Does it mean there’s something extra wrong? Etc. 

Many help or advice would be wonderful. 

Thank you 


Hi there

i was in the same position and was told my bowel was too full, so they sent me home with suppositories and I had to go back the next day. I was very upset, but honestly shouldn‘t have worried. I think we gear ourselves up for things to happen and then when they don’t we start to panic, but please tell your mum to try not to worry. The radiographers are concerned with targeting the therapy as accurately as possible while minimising damage to other organs and it’s often the case that the bladder or bowel can cause issues...in my case for example the bowel being too full higher up. They asked me to use a suppository to have a “clear out“ and the next day I was able to go ahead with treatment. It happened to me again later on in treatment where they said my bowel had a lot of gas and I was advised to change my diet temporarily and have less fruit and less fibre. 

Hope I can help set your mind at rest, and all the best for your mum’s treatment. 


Thank you so much. That’s really reassuring to hear during such a stressful time. I hope your treatment was a success x 


second attempt failed too. They’re having to rescan to make sure it’s accurately pinpointed. I hate these delays. 


Oh the delays are tough, I know. I had a second planning scan yesterday prior to some more sessions and was worried I would have bladder or bowel issues again, but luckily it was ok. The radiographers took their time and realised how anxious I was. They were very kind and patient.

They know what they’re doing and will make sure that everything is right for your mum to get her treatment. I know how hard it   is not to worry or panic, but it will get sorted out. x

Tivoli's picture

This is fascinating reading! Thank you Lilypingu and hall. My chemo-rads were almost seven years ago, abroad, and I was put onto an incredibly limiting diet before treatment began. I have always assumed that this was to mitigate sensitivity further along during treatment when bowels begin to object to the onslaught. I was not allowed fruit or fibre, of almost any kind, so perhaps this was also to prevent the kind of situation you have both been witness to.

Be lucky :-)


This happens.  I had 2 sets of planning scans done as I have an unusual bladder/uterus/bowel position/size.  A plan was made, and 2nd radiation treatment was cancelled due to bowel being too empty, thus putting the markers out of place.  It was very disheartening.  I had a similar issue pop up around the end of week 2, and they ended up re-doing my radiation plan to make a slightly bigger field.  The reasoning being I have a lot of organ mobility, and the concern that part of the tumor, or a lymph node could be missed.  So slightly less conservative approach when it comes to sparing tissue/organs, but more thorough coverage of the area.  They really only get one blast at it with radiation, and my oncologist felt it was more important to have the 25 consecutive treatments than to miss days, or possibly miss the cancer itself.

Cynthia - Kicking Cancer to the Curb

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