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possible ulcer at radiation site

StruTanToot
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2012

My treatment ended Oct. 8, and I'm still having very painful BMs, both pain and burning.

I went to my "regular" doctor today and he examined the area. He said the thinks I have an ulcer. He said radiation can cause one on the anus.

He wants me to see the surgeon who first discovered my anal cancer. I'm just wondering if anyone else experienced anything similar. Again, my treatment ended Oct. 8. The pain during a BM is a lot better, but it still gets quite intense and then the burning. Shouldn't it all be better by now...it's been six weeks or so.

As always, thank you all for your support and the information you provide. Also, your stories and encouragement lift me up.

7243
Posts: 223
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi stru ... I would suggest calling your radiation oncologist at duke and getting their angle on things. I think you want them to give their insight into what's going on. If complications are surfacing (unlikely) OR you have delayed healing ... They want to know. And no .... You will not be healed that soon. Better but not healed. Radiation continues to work for many months after ending treatment! I still have painful BMs and some blending 21 months post treatment.

Look back at your info for the nurse call line into radiation oncology and see what they say. When is your first follow-up post treatment?

Hang in there!

Dog Girl
Posts: 100
Joined: Sep 2010

Stru Tan Toot:

Since your regular doctor looked at the site, he/she certainly has a better idea, but I'm wondering if you could possibly have a fissure too? In case you don't know, a fissure is a tear at the anus and sometimes it never heals because it is constantly under stress from having bms. In other words it rips back open each time you go poopy. They can be caused by trauma, constipation, and diarrhea (you probably had constipation and diarrhea during tx and while it may not be related, I think radiation certainly qualifies as trauma) and they are EXTREMELY painful. About 3 yrs before bing dx with AC, I had a slight one that did finally heal, but then later on I had another one for which I had to have surgery. Not to be too graphic, but it felt like a hot poker up my rear end while having a bm. While it was a slightly different type of pain, it was every bit as painful as the pain I had during tx. (My colorectal dr said that with my history of fissure, AC, and family history of hemmoroids (both parents and older brother had surgery), our family probably just had bad "butt" (my word-not his) genes. Anyway this may be something that you want to check about in case it is not, or in addition to an ulcer. Best of luck and let us know how you make out.

Dog Girl
Posts: 100
Joined: Sep 2010

Stru Tan Toot:

Since your regular doctor looked at the site, he/she certainly has a better idea, but I'm wondering if you could possibly have a fissure too? In case you don't know, a fissure is a tear at the anus and sometimes it never heals because it is constantly under stress from having bms. In other words it rips back open each time you go poopy. They can be caused by trauma, constipation, and diarrhea (you probably had constipation and diarrhea during tx and while it may not be related, I think radiation certainly qualifies as trauma) and they are EXTREMELY painful. About 3 yrs before bing dx with AC, I had a slight one that did finally heal, but then later on I had another one for which I had to have surgery. Not to be too graphic, but it felt like a hot poker up my rear end while having a bm. While it was a slightly different type of pain, it was every bit as painful as the pain I had during tx. (My colorectal dr said that with my history of fissure, AC, and family history of hemmoroids (both parents and older brother had surgery), our family probably just had bad "butt" (my word-not his) genes. Anyway this may be something that you want to check about in case it is not, or in addition to an ulcer. Best of luck and let us know how you make out.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3020
Joined: Jan 2010

This sounds like a late side-effect of the radiation. I would definitely run this past your radiation oncologist and your colorectal doctor. Between the two of them, they can surely come up with a plan to treat it. I hope it resolves soon.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I am sorry that you are not yet 100 %. I think going to see your treating doctors is a good idea. Try not to worry too much. It does take awhile to heal. I still had burning and bleeding for quite some time after treatment. I would recommend the hand held shower as often as possible to speed healing and keep the area clean.

Good to hear from you and I hope you see your doctors soon to allay your fears.

Hugs

Mary

StruTanToot
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you everyone. I always know I can count on your help.

I don't go back to the cancer doctors until December. I will see the radiation and chemo oncologists, the surgeon, and will have a PET scan.

Now that I'm thinking more about it, I realized that none of my doctors said anything about the period before after treatment ended and my first follow-up appointment. I'm sure my radiation oncologist said to let him know if I had any problems, BUT no one talked to me about managing pain or anything. The only thing I was told was that it would take about two weeks for me to start feeling better.

The doc prescribed both oxycotin and oxycodone. I have reduced the dose, but still need it everyday, especially if I have a really painful BM. The thing is, my regular doctor is now managing my pain. The first time I saw him after treatment, I was still in a lot of pain and forgot to take my pain medication that morning. When I saw him, I was visibly hurting.

Anyway...while I'm sure my cancer docs would have been responsive had I contacted them, I wish they had told me more about what to expect and what to do about pain management. I'm just so thankful for my regular doctor...he's always been great. He is actually my HIV doc, but I consider him my primary physician.

About the pain meds...the doc tells me that I should not be in pain and that he'll wean me off the medication. I trust him completely, but I do worry about being so dependent on the medication. You know though, as I type this, I realize I should not worry and I should not be in pain.

I have learned (and some of you have taught me) that I have bigger worries. It's okay for me to take the pain medication now. I don't abuse it, and my regular doctor will get me off when it's time.

I'm sorry...this post was mainly my thoughts. Please once again know that I appreciate your responses and help. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and you all will be among the many blessings I will count tomorrow and everyday.

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