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anal burning

teacherofkids
Posts: 14
Joined: Feb 2010

Thank you for the answers to my questions. I have a few more. I finished my 33 radiation treatments and 2 rounds of chemo. I have been done for almost 3 weesk. I am now experiencing major burning when I have a bowelmovent. Is this normal 3 weeks after? I have my first rectal at sloan ketterling, NY on April5. I imagine that will hurt. Did anyone have that 6 weeks after to see how you reponded? Then I get the ultrasound in May to find out all the results. Can anyone tell me how long the burning last and what you did for it. I am taking percacet and it helps somewhat but it is putting me over the edge. Help
I am very thankful for this site and for everyone who knows what I went through and will go through!

z's picture
z
Posts: 1250
Joined: May 2009

Hi,

Yes burning 3 weeks after treatment is normal. Very painful I know. I used the pain meds and had a sports bottle with water to use as I was using the bathroom. This helped. Also baths were very soothing. Did you get lotions from the radiologist. Mine gave me bag balm, (used on cow utters), but theres all kinds. Silverdine especially for burns. The burning might last a while. We have been burned and shrunk so it takes time to heal. The radiologist did an examination on me but not a dre thank goodness. He said I was burned as he wanted. I think my 1st dre was with my onc, about 2 months after treatment completed. It has gotten much better, I am 9 months post treatment. I wish you well Lori.

lil lady
Posts: 36
Joined: May 2009

Yes I had the same burning it gets better but I am 9mo. post treatment and still have pain with each bowel movement I am using a stool softner and also benefiber and this helps we have been burned and there is scaring they tell me it will get better. I have had 2 rectal ultra sounds the first one was done under ansethetic at about the 4 mo post treatment and I just had the 2nd one 2 weeks ago without being put out and I was able to tolerate it so I am getting better Hang in there it does get better and the worst is over.

lil lady
Posts: 36
Joined: May 2009

Yes I had the same burning it gets better but I am 9mo. post treatment and still have pain with each bowel movement I am using a stool softner and also benefiber and this helps we have been burned and there is scaring they tell me it will get better. I have had 2 rectal ultra sounds the first one was done under ansethetic at about the 4 mo post treatment and I just had the 2nd one 2 weeks ago without being put out and I was able to tolerate it so I am getting better Hang in there it does get better and the worst is over.

pjjenkins's picture
pjjenkins
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi,
Two and 1/2 years later, I cannot remember exactly how long after treatment the burning continued but I am pretty sure I used pretty heavy painkiller for a couple of months.. I phased out over about two to three weeks after that with no problems.

I still have tender, sensitive skin "down there" by which I mean it chafes easily and I am prone to rash on occasion. Try many things until you find what you like best. There are two ointments I like best and I'm blocking on both names.

Early in my journey I also had uterine cell "suspicious for cancer" so my first post treatment test was a PET 2 months after treatment and not long after that a D&C. The latter was the more difficult but the results were good. I used painkiller afterward for a few days.

I have cycles of bowel problems and daily use Citrucel (has a no sugar version)or Metamucil or generic with much success (Beneful was good, too). Early on (first 6 months or a bit more), I took a change of clothing when I went away from home. But this improves with time and now I rarely have a problem.

You will notice continual improvement and I think you are through the worst!

Maybe ask doc for another painkiller to try.

Best wishes!
Priscilla

z's picture
z
Posts: 1250
Joined: May 2009

Hi,

Priscilla may I ask what you were staged at. I was staged at II NOMO anal verge cancer. I see you are 2 1/2 years out of treatment and doing good. I love to see that. Thank you, Lori

pjjenkins's picture
pjjenkins
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

2 1/2 years and counting but with what I believe for most of us is the "usual" anxiety just prior to the annual testing. I count myself very blessed,and hope you will be.

One of my complaints about my treatment is that I never had a definitive staging determination. I believe it was stage I. There was no lymph involvement and no other metastasis. I don't really even know what NOMO means and am making the assumption that the anal verge is at the external opening side of the canal. My tumor crossed the dentate line into the rectum leading to an initial diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma of the rectum - even more rare than anal cancer. My medical oncologist insisted it was anal cancer however and he was apparently right.

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

of treatment. I think it took almost 2 months for the skin to heal and toughen up. According to my doctor, the anal and vaginal area both have atrophy due to the radiation. I'm prone to chafing if I have diarrhea or something. Still have some issues and my doctor said I probably would due to the scarring inside as well. I take Miralax every morning and sometimes I take a stool softener. It is very helpful to keep the stools soft!

Lotions like aloe help alot. Good luck on your continued improvement.

pege1
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2010

The one thing that worked for me was Silvadene cream. Ask your doctor for a prescription and use it before using bathroom. This really cream is really a blessing for the burning.

Hope this helps you too.

cbs6931's picture
cbs6931
Posts: 63
Joined: Mar 2010

This seems to work pretty well, and if it works for you will keep you off painkillers. It comes in either a foam or a creme, and works for both the vaginal and anal areas.

Hope you are feeling better!

Cathy

gladteacher
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2010

Hi,
I started my 30 treatments of radiation with two weeks of chemo in Dec. and mid January. I was finished on January 19, but had to be hospitalized until Feb. 5th because of the burns. My hair is growing back but looks funny. As far as the burns go, they healed pretty well, but BM's can be very painful even with pain killers. My colorectal surgeon gave me a gel (prescription) of nitroglycerin 2% to insert intra-anally two times per day. I still get depressed because the BM's are unpredictable. Sometimes there is diarrhea, and no warning that it is coming. I have an anal fissure, but am having a biopsy taken at the hospital in mid May to determine if the cancer is completely gone. I have dropped thirty pounds and am happy to buy some new clothes. I feel my eating habits have changed quite a bit. It feels good to write people back with the same diagnosis. This is my first comment post. I hope you do well. Hang in there. I think recovery can be worse than the cancer because you at one time were so busy with treatments etc. When you are alone, it is difficult to not worry about things. Write me back and let me know how you are doing. Thanks.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2892
Joined: Jan 2010

I just want to touch on something you said about recovery being worse than the treatment period. You are quite correct about this, judging from my experience and from what others have said. Treatment time puts us in warrior mode and there's lots going on. Then it all abruptly ends and we feel like we are in limbo, lost. Please don't think that you are the only one feeling this way, as I assure you, you are not. There is a writer named Dana Jennings who writes for the New York Times who is a prostate cancer survivor. He has written a series of columns which chronicle his cancer journey and he speaks about this very thing. He puts into words so correctly what so many of us have felt. If you get a chance, go to the New York Times website and look him up. I think you'll be able to relate to what he has written.

gladteacher
Posts: 9
Joined: Feb 2010

Thank you for sharing this. I will check it out. I am glad I can communicate with people with the same things going on. It can be quite frustrating!

pjjenkins's picture
pjjenkins
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2009

I am a 2 1/4-1/2 year survivor. The unpredictability of anal evacuation remained for me relatively - let me say embarrassingly - for about 5-6 months after treatment but has gradually diminished to being a rare event. I continue to have an occasionally painful, bleeding hemorrhoid that causes some agita but am otherwise quite well. I continue to use cremes pretty regularly.
I dropped 40 pounds but have put 30 back on - dang it all! My head full of straight hair came in curly but in the irradiated area has not come back at all and the curls have gone now.
Worry is clearly part of the game and I am fretting this month about what kind of testing they will do this time (May). However, I feel my age more now than recovery problems - I think! ;)

mtnmama
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2010

I am now 3 years out from diagnosis of stage 3b anal cancer, the burns were really bad and found that Silvidene was the best, I had to take a week off radiation to let the burns settle. Still have bowel problems, never leave the house without my Imodium and sometimes have severe cramping when I need to have a bowel movement and soemtimes takes 6-7 times before I'm done. But I am thankful for everyday and it does get better, I feel best every time I get my "clean" 6 month check hahahaha. Coloscopy every year but they knock you out, the worst part is the cleaning out process, I wish they could find a better way to do that!!! Wishing the best for all of us!

JDuke's picture
JDuke
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

does a follow-up every 6 months, but just a flex-sigmoidoscopy. Had a colonoscopy at diagnosis in 2008. Still knocks me out for the flex, because I insist, but the prep is two enemas the morning of. Not as bad as drinking all that nasty stuff. I agree with you, that "all clear" is sweet music to my ears!

susan1069
Posts: 30
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi Everyone,

I just finished my 33 treatments a couple of days ago and I came onto the discussion board to see how long the hemmorrhoids, burning and painful or uncontrollable bowel movements would last. I can't tell you how discouraged I am to see that this stuff can go on for years! I guess I was naive to think I'd go back to normal in a couple of weeks. Is there anyone out there who HASN'T had anal burning for months or years afterwards? I guess I'm hoping that doesn't happen to everyone and maybe I'll be lucky??

It's strange that now I'm finished with tx, but more depressed than ever. I think it's the permanent changes that are upsetting me. I just want to go back to the way I was, and obviously that's not going to happen. I guess getting used to the "new normal" and accepting it is the way to go.

Any suggestions??

z's picture
z
Posts: 1250
Joined: May 2009

Hi Susan,

You just finished shrinking and burning your anal canal. You must give yourself time to heal. My burning and urgency issues lasted several months. Believe me it will get better, it just takes time. I completed treatment 6-30-09 and I feel better than I have in years, physically and mentally. I quit smoking and started eating right. I used the water bottle for months after, to sooth the burning. One day at a time, you will gradually see improvement. Remember this treatment will cure you. I wish you well. Lori

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2892
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Susan--

I am almost 20 months out of treatment and I still have burning with BM's sometimes. As explained to me, the blood vessels in the anus are much closer to the surface after radiation and are very easily irritated by anything that passes by. This can also cause bleeding from time to time. Certain foods can also trigger burning with BM's. I eat Mexican food about every other weekend, knowing that the next day my rear end will feel like it's on fire. Don't get discouraged about the bowel issues--you just finished your treatments and it takes time for things to heal and return to normal, albeit a new normal in most cases. As for the depression, please register on the New York Times website and search for "Dana Jennings." He is a columnist who has been through prostate cancer treatment and has written many good columns about it. There is one on cancer and depression, which I think was written back in Sept. 09. Please check it out, as it will make you see that this is quite common among cancer survivors. It gets better as time goes on for most and for those who can't shake it, a good therapist can be a Godsend. Take care and keep coming here with your questions. We're here to help.

JDuke's picture
JDuke
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

please know that this will improve. Even though you are finished with your treatments, they are still working and will be for weeks, months afterwards. Even when the external healing is complete the internal parts are still recovering. Just keep reminding yourself that you got through the hardest part; remind yourself how resilient you are. I still have issues, 18 months post treatment, but they continue to lessen in frequency. Spicy foods, not drinking enough liquids, not enough fiber, all contribute to my discomfort. I hope that you have rapid improvement in your symptoms.

Best regards,
Joanne

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