No announcement yet.

clamshell or no clamshell?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • clamshell or no clamshell?

    I did my simulation for my radiation therapy yesterday and the Radiation Oncologist told me they don't use the clamshell ( used to protect penis and remaining testicle) anymore. He said the field of radiation does not extend as low as it used to and the beams are much more focused making it unnecessary. Just curious if anyone has had radiation in the last couple years and if they used the clamshell or not?
    dx May 3, 2006, left I/O May 5, seminoma stage I, RTx16 (24Gy) completed June 26, 2006, all clear.

  • #2
    No clamshell

    I just started yesterday and I don't have a clamshell - they're radiating my lymph glands (stomach area only) so I can kind of understand it's not necessary I think.

    Good luck!


    • #3
      I think it depends. If they irradiate the paraaortic lymph nodes (i.e. the abdomen) only, then I think the clamshell is not necessary. If they do the "hockeystick", i.e. include the pelvis in the radiation field, then I think it is still a good idea to put on the clamshell.


      • #4
        Clamshell Or Not

        My techs did not think the clamshell was neccessary, but my radiation oncologist insisted on the clamshell. I found out later they all had a discussion and the doctor won out. I suspect that it is a bit cautious if the field is not the hockey stick, however, there is always a certain amount of scatter radiation. Depending on where your sperm counts are prior to treatment there is a risk that the scatter could cause either temporary or permanent sterility. I preferred to err on the side of caution and went with the doctor recommendation with the clamshell. It is awkward and you will need the techs to help set it up, but it does not add more than 5 minutes to the treatment time. It is your treatment and you should decide whether or not you want to use it. My rationale in the end, was that a little awkardness was worth the peace of mind that I had taken every precaution available to avoid any chance sterility.
        Diagnosed 5-5-05 (Stage 1 - Seminoma) / Oriechtomy 5-9-05 / Adjuvant Radiation July 2005