CSN Login
Members Online: 4

Males...questions about effects of radiation on genitals.

StruTanToot
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2012

I just started my 4th week of radiation. For the previous three weeks, the doc had cotton squares placed under my scrotum and had my penis taped down in a forward position..."up and forward" was used to describe the placement.

After three weeks, the doc stopped the "up and forward" placement, and I don't quite understand why. From what I do understand, the area has been receiving radiation all along. He changed the placement so the radiation is more equally distributed or something like that. Also, I was told my penis and scrotum will blister and burn.

Can anyone please tell me what happened with the genitals during treatment?

Thank you so much. I did not anticipate getting this info from the doc. I meet with him today and plan to tell him that he needs to better prepare me on what to expect.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2856
Joined: Jan 2010

But I would definitely pose your above questions to your doc. As for changing the radiation, your treatment field has probably been reduced to include less of your entire pelvic area and is now targeting only the area surrounding your tumor. This is referred to as "coning down." In most cases, people do not receive the entire 54gys (or whatever their dosage is) to the whole pelvic region. Only the tumor may receive the max dose, with surrounding areas receiving less. I hope I have explained this so that it makes sense. But please do ask your doctor to explain it to you.

mxperry220
Posts: 358
Joined: Mar 2011

I did not have any blistering anywhere. My groin area was like a sunburn without the blisters, but again everyone is different. My radiation doctor said I had healthly skin tissue which avoided the blistering a lot of people get. I was lucky in that regard.
Mike

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

Things got very red and burned...no blistering...but skin peeling...to the degree that it would "stick" to your undergarments.

Keep on creaming the area as often and liberally as you can....one week left to go.

kirby77
Posts: 48
Joined: Jul 2012

This past week was one of my worst in terms of proctitis and burning. I was up only to use the toilet, multiple times, very painful. I had just finished my second chemo, which by the way started on day 29. More nausea this time, and way more cramping and diarrhea.

Overall, the weekend sucked. By Monday, I was prepared to begin my final 7 days of radiation when the Rad/Onc office called to say the machine would be down for 3 days minimum. I was pretty disappointed, because I just wanted to get this out of the way and start healing.

Today, I feel differently, having noticed that my scrotum, thighs, and groin are dark brown/red with tiny little black dots. My proctitis is slightly better, using Proctofoam HC at least 2 times a day. My skin seem to suddenly appear burned, itchy and sensitive. Plus lying or sitting on my tailbone is very uncomfortable.

This past week, has likely been the worst I have felt. I am now grateful for the unplanned treatment break but still resent that it delays completion. I am anxious to start healing for good and return to work.
As for other good news, Saturday, once I completed Chemo2, my PICC was removed, that was great. Downside, is that I didn't feel well enough to enjoy a shower until today.

All said, I am grateful to sitting here, typing this message and for your support. I know, my experience is not unique. I am ever hopeful to be on the otherside of this soon.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2856
Joined: Jan 2010

I know at this point in time, things are getting intensely painful for you. I'm so sorry. Like you, due to a machine breakdown, I had to take a break towards the end of my treatment. However, for me it was only one day. Still, I was so very disapointed, as I just wanted it over with! The technician was there working on the machine when I arrived for treatment and they told me if I wanted to wait, it might be fixed. I waited for over an hour (with a very full bladder, I might add), only to be told it was going to take longer than expected and I was sent home.

Use this downtime to get plenty of rest--your body will thank you for that. I'm glad you no longer are dealing with the PICC line, but sorry the shower had to be delayed. Hang in there and know that we are all sending you positive thoughts and prayers. You will be finished with this before long and you will heal quickly--something I know to which you are looking forward!

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I am glad to hear that you are progressing in your treatments. As far as the protocol, I know that my treatment had to be altered a couple of times due to low blood counts. You are right to ask your doctor. Good luck. Hang in there!

rds711
Posts: 113
Joined: Dec 2011

My groin creases were the first areas to show slight burns with the small brownish black dots. That area was intensely itchy at times. My scrotum and penis did not seem to get it as bad, no blisters or peeling. I had some peeling on both sides of groin but no blisters. During my treatments everything stayed as it landed, no taping or positioning of my penis or scrotum. The worst burns were in the crease of my buttocks and around my anus. The silvadene ointment was a lifesaver for me.

You are almost there Stru and Kirby! Take it one day at a time. Soon you will enter the healing phase and for me it happened fairly quickly. At day 9 post treatment the pain stopped as if a switch had been turned off. Get extra protien in to help with healing.

Keeping you both in my prayers,

Randy

StruTanToot
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you all who replied. I seem to be doing okay, but I did start taking the prescription pain killer.

Randy...the groin creases seem to be the most bothersome for me as well, especially the itching. Things are tolerable though.

11 days to go!!!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2856
Joined: Jan 2010

StruTanToot--

You are going to get to the finish line! Just hang in there, take each day at a time, and know that we are all virtually standing beside you cheering you on!

StruTanToot
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2012

I feel your support and cherish the love and sense of community this site gives me everyday. I'm forever grateful.

Cheyenne's picture
Cheyenne
Posts: 72
Joined: Apr 2012

On the weekends when you are not going for treatment, apply aquaphor liberally. Don't worry about staining anything. Just coat those creases!

ETA: I forgot to mention the ice packs. I used gallon sized zip lock bags and put ice in them and had one on each side. They were VERY helpful! I sometimes also positioned one in the back to ease that discomfort.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I just remembered what helped me with the burns. The nurse at the hospital told me to get the Powder thst goes into aquariums and put it into a sitz bath. It is blue and is sold by the pound. It really helped speed the healing of the skin, which for me, was badly burned and painful. I used it a couple of times a day and it provided a great deal of relief.

Apparently, this is evidence based because the hospital only recommends treatment which is tested and proven effective. Has anyone else heard of this? I do recommend it.

You are both getting to the end of treatment and I hope that you feel better very soon! Hang in there.

Prayers and hugs.

Mary

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I just remembered what helped me with the burns. The nurse at the hospital told me to get the Powder thst goes into aquariums and put it into a sitz bath. It is blue and is sold by the pound. It really helped speed the healing of the skin, which for me, was badly burned and painful. I used it a couple of times a day and it provided a great deal of relief.

Apparently, this is evidence based because the hospital only recommends treatment which is tested and proven effective. Has anyone else heard of this? I do recommend it.

You are both getting to the end of treatment and I hope that you feel better very soon! Hang in there.

Prayers and hugs.

Mary

kirby77
Posts: 48
Joined: Jul 2012

Getting to the end has been difficult, your support and advice lessen the isolation that goes with getting there.
I am a little fearful of using something like the aquarium powder but I am open to reading the more about and possibly trying it.
Hugs back for all the support.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2856
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm not sure on what day you finish or finished your treatment, but I would just like to say that I am so proud of you for hanging in there. I know it was rough, but you have shown what a trooper you are. It is hard to believe when one is in the roughest part that healing will happen and life will return to normal, but it does. When you have healed, you will be able to encourage others who need support. As soon as you are up to it, I hope you will do something special for yourself--you certainly deserve it!

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Lol. Can't say that I blame you about the aquarium solution. It did feel rather strange going into the local pet store to purchase it for medical purposes. It worked for me and was quite soothing in the sitz baths. Hang in there! All will be well very soon!

LaCh
Posts: 509
Joined: Dec 2012

What's the powder called?

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network