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Pelvic lymph nodes

pializ
Posts: 308
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi there,
The primary tumour is at the top end of the anal canal, with lymph nodes involved in mesorectum and pelvic area (2 lymph nodes in total). Anyone here had similar presentation? About to start treatment on 18th. Was called in by oncologist to discuss the likliehood of long term effects of radiation on small bowel.
Very worried about quality of life post treatment.
Thanks
Liz

islandgirlculebra's picture
islandgirlculebra
Posts: 139
Joined: Dec 2012

I had Stage III with lymph nodes that "lit up" during a PET scan. I had the standard treatment during Feb. and March of this year. My scan in July was clear. I've had some effects from the radiation on bowel habits, which were very distressing to me at first, but as time goes by, that is getting better. I find that limiting the amount of fiber in my diet helps greatly. I also have muscle pain and stiffness in the thigh and groin area. This seems to be a common post-treatment result Doctors don't talk about. I've found that it's tolerable though, and improving as time goes by. My best to you. This site is wonderful and I wish I had known about it during my treatments and the months following.

pializ
Posts: 308
Joined: Nov 2012

good to know your scan was clear in July! Where were lit up lymph nodes with you? I've heard low fibre is the way to go. That is life changing on it's own without all the other complications this 'cure' brings. Hope they find a less barbaric cure in the future, especially as anal cancer is said to be on the increases. I agree! This site is fantastic. So much support and information here & all much appreciated. I hope you continue well with your recovery.

islandgirlculebra's picture
islandgirlculebra
Posts: 139
Joined: Dec 2012

I had many lymph nodes that lit up, one in left side of my groin and also the abdominal area.....They did not remove or biopsy any of them; they said standard treatment is to treat them as if they are cancerous.....I'm finding as time goes on that moderation is the key on the fiber issue. I too hope they find a less barbaric cure in the future, but at least this cancer does respond to the chemo and radiation and we have to be thankful for that.... Thanks for your good wishes... you have my good wishes also for sure....

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3120
Joined: Jan 2010

I was on the fence between a stage 1 and 2 (2cm localized tumor) and had no lymph node involvement. However, standard treatment even in cases of localized tumors includes radiating the pelvic/groin lymph nodes. That's what they did to me. My radiation treatment began with radiation to the entire pelvic region. After a certain number of treatments, they did a "coning down," which means reduction of the treatment field. After more treatments to the second defined area and near the end of my treatment, the treatment field was reduced again to include only the tumor area. I believe this is standard protocol for cases like mine. That said, since you have lymph node involvement, your treatment plan may be a little different. However, all of your lymph nodes will receive radiation.

Some of our other posters have mentioned a low fiber diet. I totally agree with this strategy for reducing bowel issues. Right after my treatment ended I tried to eat lots of fruits and veggies, thinking that a healthy diet as such would be best. That was a mistake, as all that did was make me have diarrhea and numerous trips to the bathroom every day. I still eat fruits and veggies, but not quite as much. I am now 4+ years post-treatment and only deal with the occasional issue, which is nothing I can't deal with. It definitely gets better with time, so hold onto that. Many people find that taking Metamucil or something similar really helps.

I really think you will be fine through this and I hope you will try not to worry too much about long-term bowel issues right now. Most people do not deal with them. Currently, your mission needs to be getting through treatment and ridding yourself of this disease. I wish you all the best.

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