Palliative radiotherapy to spine...

I’m starting palliative radiotherapy to my spine,in two places on Wednesday.Has anyone else had this and what can I expect?
Alli x


No I haven’t, Alli, but I’ve just read your post (somewhere else!) about no-one spotting this thread and I have to say I think you’re right.

It seems we have to tunnel a long way down to topics at the moment. I do hope this will change very soon.

Hope the radiotherapy goes well.



Hi allicat,

Yes, I have had palliative rads to my spine. One lot was to the top C2 I think and was one shot, back in 2002.

The other was to L1,2,3,4 back in August split into 5 days. I have also had to both hips as well these were both 5 days.

Which part of your spine are you having done.

They will need to measure you up and these days the techniques are a lot faster and more refined than back in 02 when i had the first lot. It took about 20mins on the CT Scanner to be marked up and involved a couple of tatoos. The radiotherapy itself only takes a few minutes. I find it very hard to say what happened because I am not sure how much of it was due to the fact that I was on morphine at the time. They may tell you it takes a couple of weeks before it feels better. I found the first two times I had radiotherapy in 2002 I had no ill effects and the relief was almost immediate. But the last time in August the pain was really bad before the rads and I did not find it eased up for about 8 weeks when I could come off the morphine. I think it is successful in a high proportion of patients. Unfortunately for me it hasn’t really worked and we haven’t got to the bottom of what the problem really is. Not sure if this is all you want to know - but feel free to pm me or ask here.


Thanks for the replies dawnhc and Bahons2,
I all went ok today,although my arm was very painful when lying on the table and I had to have morphine before they could do the planning.
I’m having mine done in C2 and T11 over five days.
I’ve only got one small tattoo at the top of my stomach,and pen marks covered over with clear plasters,at the front of my throat.
The pain in my arm feels worse tonight for some reason!
Alli x

Hi Alli,

Also did not spot your post. Palliative radiotherapy in spine for me was a mixed bag.

Was easy, quick (minutes) with little time planning.

Mine was on T12 which comes out through abdomen.Consultant had said would need anti-sickness but was not written up. Struggled badly with sickness until complained.Then was fine with anti-sickness pills.Check if you need them for T11???

Got more burning than I did with primary radiotherapy but weeks and weeks after it had finished. Pain was referred to lower in my spine but then improved greatly and with almost immediate signs of healing on scans.
Recognised your name from Liverpool meet so have asked to be your contact (feel like i am 6 again).Please be my friend!!! Julie x

I forgot about the nausea!! As I said mine was to L1,2,3 & 4 plus hip and i was told to take anti-sickness stuff they prescribed before they started the rads. I was quite sick and the nausea went on for some time but I think this was partly due to the morphine I was taking as well. I didn’t get any burning, but then with an awful lot at the time of primary dx (35 one side and 30 the other) I didnt burn then either.


Woke up this morning feeling like I had a bad hangover-must have been all the morphine from yesterday.Pain in arm not as bad today so perhaps radiotherapy is working already!
Alli x