Has anyone else been treated with just chemo for stage 3b


ive just completed chemo for stage 3b cervical cancer with paraortic lymph involvement.

i had Carboplatin, taxol and avastin. There was significant shrinkage of the tumour and lymph nodes after the second treatment but after all the treatment it had remained the same apart from a .5 min increase in one of the lymph nodes.

my oncologist has decided to watch and wait if/when the tumour increases in size I will be put into an immunotherapy trial.


has anybody else had this treatment plan?




I haven't heard of that for a 3B. I would be interested to hear whether you come across anyone. There are ladies in the advanced group that went straight on to that mix for stage 4 though. 

I am not sure why he or she would delay a trial. They all have different entrance criteria and some are very strict regarding previous treatments and timings. I think if I were in your position I would ask for a second opinion just to be sure. 

It might be worth asking to join the advanced group here. There are a number of women undergoing trials in.that group who can help you further.

Karen x 

I started with 3 cycles of carboplatin and taxol for stage 3b/c.  There had been some response to that treatment, but it was never intended to be my only treatment.  My initial plan was for 3 cycles of the cocktail, followed by the typical 25 radiation with a weekly cisplatin chemo booster and 4 brachytherapy, then ending with an additional 3 cycles of the cocktail. Fortunately, I had an excellent response to the radiation part, and didn’t need the final 3 cycles of the cocktail. 


For me, the initial cocktail was meant to stop the spread, and the radiation was to get rid of what was left. About 2/3 of the way through the chemorads they could no longer see any part of the tumour. I was confirmed NED at my 3 month post-treatment scan. 


It seems curious why they would go straight from the cocktail to immunotherapy without any radiation, which seems to be a rather standard treatment. It might be worth asking about at your next check-up. 

Hi Daisy, I’m new and initially staged at 3b but yet to do more scans. The radiologist said 3b because my left ureter is partially blocked. May I ask why did you start w the chemo yet? Is it because they were trying to shrink the tumor first? Did you know what size was your tumor? I was just wondering cuz it seems w other ladies w stage 3 they just had the chemorad combination right away. Any advice please. Thank you

Hi May,

I had the cocktail first because they found the cancer in my cervix, uterus and parametrium, and had multiple active lymph nodes up to the para aortic - meaning it had spread as far as it could and still be considered to be contained within my pelvis. They said it was a very fast growing and aggressive adenocarcinoma, and they hoped the chemo could quickly stop the growth and the spread. My tumor was big - 10 cm.

What I had was not a typical response or treatment plan, but I think it depends on where you are from - I am in Canada and I think this is more common in the US. I found the chemo cocktail a bit easier treatment than the chemorads, but everyone handles it differently.

As far as advice, try not to panic right now. The scans will determine your plan. It sounds strange, but you will likely feel much better once you start treatment - it is a relief to just know you are fighting it. The waiting is so hard!!

Take it easy, rest when you need to, ask for help if you are struggling (or even if you aren’t). Many of these lovely ladies have said they didn’t find the treatment too bad - I wasn’t one of those people, but I can say that I started feeling better within only a few days of finishing my treatments. The doctors and nurses are wonderful and will be happy to answer any questions you have - that’s what they are there for!

Best of luck to you. I hope you get some results soon and can start the fight! This forum kept me going, and we’re all here to cheer you on!

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Daisy, thank you so much for the reply. Yes I heard the adecarcinoma is far more aggressive than squamous cell. I’m glad you were successfully treated. I really need some positive outcome stories right now. So how long have you been cancer free? I’ll be praying for your continuous healing. Thank you for graciously answering my questions.

Also should I expect to lose my hair from chemo? Since we have a similar stage but I think I’ll also gonna be needing a stent place on my ureter as it’s partially blocked. What’s odd is my tumor is 3.4cm from CT a scan I was thinking it should be much bigger if it’s causing a blockage on one of my ureter. I guess I’ll know better once they did more tests/scans.

If you are given cisplatin as chemo you will not loose your hair . If you are in the interface trial where you receive 3x chemo cocktail and then 5 or 6 Cisplatin you will Ioose your hair.
3.4 cm is really treatable, and curable , heep that in mind.
you will probabLy get chemo and radiation treatment. However, with a 3,4 cm tumor you could al so get the hysterectomy if there are no lymphnodes affected and if there is no spread Into surrounding tissues.

either way both ftreatments work really well. In the netherlands Chemorads is called surgery withoutt cutting. It is the so called golden standard,you will Receive the best treatment fit to yourspecific needs.

feel freele send me a pm if you have questions or just want to chat. you are not alone. hugs!!

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Hi ladies,
I hope it’s ok to jump on this thread. I have just been diagnosed yesterday with adenocarcinoma, most likely stage 3 but I am waiting for my scans. I have a 3-4cm tumour that has grown down from the cervix and attached itself to the vaginal wall. We don’t know yet if it has spread upwards etc.
I have been told I will have 18 weeks of treatment (6 rounds three weeks with a week off in every third week). Has anyone had this treatment? I’m presuming that I’m not suitable for the 5 week chemorads as it’s adenocarcinoma that can’t be operated on sue to the spread.
I know I won’t know the full story until I have my scans but I am absolutely terrified of this killing me and leaving my family. My daughter has just finished two years of treatment for leukaemia and I can’t fault the NHS for how quickly they acted and thankfully she is now cancer free.
I have been trying to find positive stories of women in my situation. The nurse said I have age and health on my side, but I find it difficult to comprehend.
Thanks for reading. Xx

Hi Helen,

In May 21 i was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma stage 2b 4cm tumour which was right up at the entrance to the womb ithere was also low uptake in the surrounding tissue the parametrium. I had 5 chemo 28 external and 3 internal radiotherapy sessions. I found the treatment not to bad. Not sure why you are having chemo prior to treatment but if thats whats been advised there must be good reason. I have had 2 post treatment scans which showca very small area left this may be scar tissue, inflammation or residual cancer they are just going to keep an eye on things.
This is a very treatable cancer and treatments today are excellent.
Take care xx

Hi Helen,

I had this chemo prior to my radiotherapy. I was told this was a treatment before my main treatment to see if I could become eligible for surgery as I have Crohn’s disease and abscesses on my ovaries and I had a bout of sepsis prior to finding out I had cancer so they were concerned how my bowels would manage the radiotherapy.

I was told after I finished the 18 weeks by my CNS that due to the results they were finding with this form of chemo prior to normal radiotherapy other areas abs hospitals were looking to roll this out and would be offering this to patients?

Maybe your hospital is one that is looking to do this?

Hi both,

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I was in bits this morning as when I woke up I’d forgotten I’d been diagnosed yesterday :roll_eyes:
I have never written on a forum before for anything, but this place is so comforting! It’s great to read so many positive stories and everyone is lovely. It’s just what I need really.

Waiting for my MRI and PET scans now for official staging so hoping it’s not spread anywhere else.

Any tips for pre treatment diets? Also - did you drink any alcohol before your treatment? Ridiculous to ask, but I’ve become a bit of a wine fanatic since Covid. It’s hard to give up! :blush:

When you start treatment you will be asked to give up some healthy supplements, so the time to start sorting out a healthy system for you starts now. Your body will be poisoned by the chemo, and it won’t need anything else poisoning it. I’m pretty sure they’ll ask you to stop alcohol, smoking, etc. A quick Google in fact will tell you that alcohol can worsen some chemotherapy side effects, such as dehydration, diarrhea, and mouth sores - plus both chemo and alcohol have negative impacts on your liver. It’s crucial you maintain strong liver function and you’ll find you’ll have liver values regularly measured to continue treatment. Enjoy a drink this weekend, then start your own ‘race for life’ - but in terms of looking after yourself and preparing your body to be as strong as possible. Xx


Hi Helen. I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I have just completed the standard chemorads treatment and when I started radiotherapy I was told no alcohol, no caffeine, no carbonated drinks!!
That was my bonfire well and truly stamped on. My partner and I brew our own beer and I love my beer but I have abstained almost completely during treatment and will now cut down drastically :cry::grin: but not cut out altogether. I started to eat more nuts, veg and fruit before treatment. And I exercised a little more. I think it gives you a sense of control over something that you can control. This waiting stage is definitely the hardest part and once you know what you’re dealing with and how they plan to treat you, you begin to feel more in control again. Good luck and we will all be with you xxx

@Snowbird thank you - I had a few glasses of wine last night so felt a bit better. Gosh, if I brewed my own beer the temptation would be horrendous so well done for abstaining!
Totally agree with the control thing, that’s me all over. There’s not really anything I can do about my diagnosis but I can make sure I’m in tip top shape to kick ass :blush::blush::blush:

Did anyone use and cooling cap? :thinking:

Hi, I didn’t have to as I was on the standard cisplatin but many women did use one on chemo days. Re getting yourself in tip top shape… absolutely and kick ass you will!!!:grin::grin::+1:

Hi Helen, I was offered the cooling cap and I was was going to use it. However the morning of chemo arrived and I had this overwhelming feeling that I did not want to use it anymore - much to everyone’s surprise as I had been hell bent that I would be using it and had done such a lot of research into how it works and how to get th best results.

My hair began falling out on day 14 after the first chemo and by day 17 I shaved it off completely. It’s a long day of chemo and I think I would have hated to be uncomfortable for all that time.

Hi @Snowbird - do you mind me asking what stage you were?
I am so confused about why I’ve been told I’m a likely stage 3 and will need 18 weeks of treatment :see_no_evil::thinking: I was really hoping for the standard 5 weeks of chemorads. What will be will be I suppose!

@Leahlouise thank you so much for sharing that. I had read it’s not the most comfortable thing but also it adds a lot of extra time to your day.
I’m not really precious about my hair to be honest, but I just don’t want people staring at me on the school run. I said to my husband last night that it would be easier for me if my diagnosis went out in the school newsletter so at least people were prepared for my hair falling out :joy: We live in a small gossipy town and I can’t stand the thought of people talking about me :roll_eyes: