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I think I have Anal Cancer

Helena101
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2012

Hi everyone, let me start with saying I think I have anal cancer, and I'm scheduled to see a GI specialist tomorrow afternoon. I just wanted to post my doubts and questions because I am so nervous... to see what you guys might think. I am 29 years old and have a two year old so I am terrified.

First Symptoms:
- About a year ago, after antibiotics for a UTI, by bowel habits kind of changed. I went from passing stools once every three days to everyday... and passing large stools. I thought going from constipated from regular was not a bad thing so I didn't give it much thought.
- Somewhere in February I was urinating and passed gas (no stool) at the end, and a white mucus came out of my anus. This mucus has a red string of blood in it. I didn't give it much though until the same thing happened again in March. 1 Mucus with 1 string of blood, kind of like a line drawn with a pencil in between the mucus.
- Somewhere in February: itchiness in the annus.... a lot! Didn't think any of it...... March: Now I kind of like feel some pressure, not pain in the anus consistently. Itching & pressure went on for a week went away for about two weeks and now came back.
- Twice after passing a large stool I had a speck, and I mean a speck of blood in my toilet paper.
- Other than that I have inspected my stool for blood or mucus everytime for a week and no blood is visible.
- I have inspected for hemorroids but I don't see any.
- I have a little of lower back pain, like in my tailbone.
- My outside anal area feels wet, not like it would souk my panties or even have a wet spot on it but it feels wet.

Other: No multiple partners, actually my only partner has been my husband and we don't have anal sex. Normal Pap smear last month>

Thank you so much for your valuable information.... I am beyond terrified as I am pretty sure it is anal cancer.... and would like some ideas as to what to expect tomorrow, I am going alone to the appointment.....

Helena101
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2012

Someone? I would love your insights prior to my appointment tomorrow! I just did a self inspection... Sorry too much embarrassing info.... but once closed you can't see anything different.... but if I try to sort of "open" (sorry) my anus... There is like a half pea sized purple pea shaped bump that hurt when I touch it.... Polyp maybe? How is anal cancer supposed to look like? Like a lump on the outside

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 541
Joined: Apr 2009

sounds like a hemmorhhoid to me. but your doc will help you. go to colorectal surgeon...or a gastroenterologist might be able to do anoscope to do a look. if not, find colorectal surgeon. colonoscopy misses them many times. anoscope is better. good luck and hope it is not ca. sephie

Phoebesnow
Posts: 451
Joined: Apr 2011

Is spread in many innocuous ways. Look it up,u would be really suprised how easy it is to get. Good luck tomorrow, let us know the outcome.

eihtak
Posts: 870
Joined: Oct 2011

I know its easier said than done but do your best to stay calm. We are not docs but have lots of personal insight. It also sounds like a hemmorhoid to me but one never knows and you are smart to be checking. As mentioned you may want a gastroenterologist to examine, he will do the appropriate test to be sure, sometimes you need a referal from your regular doc so start there. Before I (and many others) were diagnosed the stool was very thin and flat, and had the feeling that I was never quite done going along with really having to strain to go. I pray you get good news, and please let us know either way, we will be here for you. Know that whatever the news is, you are probabaly stronger than you think and will be able to get through this. Having a 2yr old is a lot of work even for a healthy mom, but will also give you that extra strength if needed!!! As always,all in my prayers.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3043
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry that you have some symptoms which are frightening to you. I believe anytime blood or mucous is noticed during a BM, it's a good idea to get it checked out, so it's good that you are seeing a doctor tomorrow. I hope the doctor will do a thorough exam tomorrow and be able to give you some answers. I would insist upon a digital rectal exam and anoscope, a small scope used to view the anal canal. If this doctor cannot do such an exam, then ask for a referral to a specialist who can. Do NOT accept a diagnosis of a bleeding hemorrhoid unless and until a doctor has scoped you and visually inspected the anal canal. That is the very best advice I can give you at this point because too many people who get diagnosed with anal cancer are first told that they have bleeding hemorrhoids and are dismissed by their doctors. You need to know exactly what is causing your symptoms and the only way to know for sure is to get a scope. Also, please keep in mind that a colonoscopy is not the best kind of scope to view the anal canal. It's fine if this doctor wants you to have a colonoscopy, but you need to insist upon anoscopy too. I hope it will calm your fears somewhat to know that neither the digital rectal exam nor the anoscope are painful exams, just a bit uncomfortable and perhaps embarrassing (however, I've had so many of them, it really doesn't bother me anymore!). Please let us know what you find out. I hope nothing serious is found. Best wishes.

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 541
Joined: Apr 2009

yes, this info is correct. anal cancer is misdiagnosed many times as hemmorhoid. sephie

Helena101
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2012

Thankyou everyone for your valuable information and support. Tomorrow I will see a Gastroenterologist, so I hope he can do the digital rectal exam and anoscopy you are recommending, If not we will take it from there with a possible referal. I will defineitely not settle with just a "hemorroid" without an inspection. Thanks again & talk to you guys tomorrow!

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 505
Joined: Jun 2011

Good luck Helena - I hope your diagnosis is not anal cancer. The advice Martha gave says it all. Don't be embarrassed when they look at your butt - just remember that they're all professionals and have seen it ALL. Good luck honey - you're too young for this. Hope it's something they can take care of quickly and completely.

Helena101
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2012

Thanks to everyone who has responded and been so supportive.

So I had the Digital Rectal Exam, and it was normal .... he could not find any tears, fissures or hemorroids or signs of anal cancer.

Now I'm scheduled for a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy next week, because he wants to be 100% sure there is nothing in there that is causing this. He couldn't do it today because I have to go prepared with two Enemas before going..... I also left with a stool sample kit that I have to take. They are going to check something about a possible infection that may be caused by antibiotics (which I took late December for a UTI)..... He said this procedure is in between the colonoscopy and anoscopy.... after I asked him for an anoscopy.... would this be efficient?

I will let you guys know next week how everything goes..... you guys are great!

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 541
Joined: Apr 2009

sounds good but i still would get an anoscope. I am not a doc but mine was missed for 10 months by a proctologist ( the anus and rectum are his areas). his colonoscopy went over the cancer and did not see it. I finally got enough nerve to get 2nd opinion and the colorectal surgeon found it with anoscope then surgical biopsy. i know it is hard to question a doc but that is how mine was mis diagnosed for so long. embarrassment and fear of questioning kept mine from being caught early. but perhaps see what the sigmoidoscopy says. good luck. sephie

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3043
Joined: Jan 2010

You are on the right track, but I agree with sephie in that you should still insist upon an anoscope, even if it means seeing another doctor. Too many anal cancers are missed even when people have sigmoid scopes and colonoscopies. I'm glad you had the exam today and I hope it wasn't too bad. Please keep us posted.

Helena101
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2012

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I had been gone for so long..... Long story short I got the Flex Sigm and all was OK..... Feces test came with no occult blood or anything. I still had on my mind that I wanted to request the anoscopy. Day after my procedure a very close family member was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and my mom and I have been caring for her for the last months.... In and out of hospitals and chemos .... I don't know if I just forgot or what but suddenly everything stopped! No mucus, no pain, no burning or itchiness for 2 whole months..... and then last week I had white mucus with no blood again... And the pain, burning, and pressure. Today, mucus again.... I'm calling tomorrow to see if the dr can see me again.... I'm scared that he missed it with the dre because maybe it was too small then.... I'm ashamed to admit that I did my own dre today and felt a large lump... Is that even possible? I feel so bad bc all this time I lost..... I don't know if my cousins cancer made me kind of block everything I was feeling.... But now it's back..... And I'm more scared than before....

torrance
Posts: 118
Joined: Jan 2012

I know how scared you must be feeling and the only way to eliminate that fear is to get confirmation from your doctor. This time be sure and get the anoscope, do your two enemas ahead of time so that you are prepared and no more delays. Make sure you let your dr know that you are feeling a lump, it could be a hem. Remember to NOT worry, if it is cancer, worry will not make it go away. You are doing the right thing by going to get it checked out. Please keep us posted. Like you I delayed getting things checked out because my daughter was ill. We can NOT put our own health on the back burner for someone else.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3043
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Helena--

I hope you have already made that phone call and scheduled an appt. Insist on an anoscope exam. I am sure there are people on this site who's anal tumors were missed on a colonoscopy exam. The problem with colonoscopy is that they are not designed to view the anal area and often the scope is pulled out too fast for the doctor to see anything. In my case, I was examined by anoscope first, which was when the tumor was discovered. Two days later I had a colonoscopy by the same doctor and she took tissue for biopsy at that time under sedation because she already knew the tumor was there. I agree with the previous comment that you should not worry yourself sick over this, but please get it checked ASAP. I'm very sorry to hear about your cousin, but please do not delay getting your own issues checked out. Please keep us posted.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 850
Joined: May 2011

Everyone here is urging you to do the right thing. I had a lump that came and went so I went in and out of denial. I really don't understand this disease but that test doesn't hurt so it makes sense to have a qualified Colo Rectal surgeon take a look.

All the best,
Sandy

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