Jan 27, 2012 - 1:29 pm
I am new to this board and am looking for information about anal cancer treatments. My 55 year old mother has been diagnosed with anal cancer. She was actually diangosed first via a swollen inguinal lymph node which was biopsied and removed. The doctors prescribed the "watch and wait" course of treatment, and she continued to have regular CAT scans (which were all clear) for about 8 months.
About four months ago, my mother found what looked to be a hemorrhoid. She has a long history of hemorrhoids so she didn't think much of it. Eventually it became so painful that she went to the emergency room. She subsequently saw two separate doctors who dismissed it as a hemorrhoid. Finally, a surgeon suggested it might be the primary cancer site presenting itself, and an oncologist agreed. A recent CAT scan (done just last week) shows that it is indeed cancer, and it has spread into other lymph nodes on the left side of her groin.
They are suggesting 5 weeks of radiation, accompanied by mitomycin (10 mg) and 5FU (1000 mg). I believe she needs a port and picc line for the chemo drugs. Is this standard procedure?
Although we have both done much reading on the side effects of pelvic radiation, I am still concerned about this severely affecitng her quality of life. She has always had issues with an overactive bladder, and is concerned that the radiation could make this issue worse. Does anyone have any advice/suggestions about management of symptoms?
Reading this forum has been very helpul, so thank you. Any additional information you could provide about the effects of treatment, etc. I would much appreciate. I'm 25, and my father already passed away from cancer when I was 15. Needless to say this has been very stressful for our family.