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abdominal pain after radiation?

bonefamily's picture
bonefamily
Posts: 27
Joined: May 2012

Hello all!

My husband finished treatment for stage 3 BOT in September. So far, clear CT's and scopes! Yeah!

One new-ish problem is lower left abdominal pain. It is not related to BM's, and is intermittent. He has it daily, but sometimes it lasts 20 min and sometimes hours. A dull to sharp, deep, achy type of pain. It has been going on a few months and he finally talked to his to his med onc about it Monday. She is adding a pelvic CT to his follow up neck CT in a few weeks. Of course, our brains immediately go 'OMG!! CANCER!'. But, we are trying not to panic and are wondering is this is another gift from radiation.

Have any of you had a similar experience?

Thanks!

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3849
Joined: Mar 2012

I can't remember anyone mentioning this.  Of course, after being thru HNC, and just finishing treatment in September....your first thoughts would go to something horrendous....there is a bit of PTSD in all of us at this stage of the game.  It's good that he's having it scanned, but there are many reasons one could have pain in the abdomen other than cancer (Appendicitis, IBS, colitus, even a hernia)....just know there are more reasons it wouldn't be cancer than it would...

p

corleone's picture
corleone
Posts: 173
Joined: Jul 2012

I concur with what Phrannie said.

Anyway, there are so many causes for this pain, I can only speculate, but it doesn’t seem to be related to the initial Dx or treatment. When you speak with the doctor, you need to specify the exact location (Dr. will need to do some palpation and see if he can feel anything out of ordinary, could be a spastic colon for instance), how long the pain lasts, if it’s intermittent or continue and its character (you already mentioned that), if the pain “goes” anywhere (referred pain), if it is triggered or exacerbated by movement, cough, respiration or lifting something, if there are any other associated symptoms (like fever, nausea).

 

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

Have you considered seeing a Gastroenterologist...

When I fist found out about the cancer and before actually getting the chemo/rads in place. I started having some pretty intense lower stomach aches and pains. Of course first thing I was thinking cancer in other areas... I had a PET for the H&N and remember lying there during the PET thinking...well if I have something else, they'll find it.

It did light up, and they referred me to my Gastroenterologist, whom had just performed a colonoscopy not long before that was good for ten years.

Long story short, it turned out to be diverticular/diverticulosis which I had never had before (or since)... I'm not sure what brought it on, my presumption would be nerves, and screwed up eating due to nerves for a few weeks...

Anyways, just anther thought...

Best ~ John

ratface's picture
ratface
Posts: 1254
Joined: Aug 2009

My immediate reaction was , wow , thats about where my tube was inserted and I can see that area being sore for some time.  I'm sure you are going to tell me he didn't have a tube. I came back and added this tidbit here, Clostridium difficile can be caused by chemo drugs and high doses of antibiotics, like when a dentist has you on  antibiotics for months at a t time. Can cause inflammation and stomach pain. Is he having diarrhea? You might try some greek yogurt if he can swallow.

 

 

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3849
Joined: Mar 2012

diverticulosis last June....at first it was intermittent, come and go....but by the time he got into the Dr. he was in quite a bit of pain, most of the time.  They did an MRI, saw that the Divicular's were inflamed, gave him some meds and he was good to go.

See...another thing that can cause adominal pain.

p

cureitall66's picture
cureitall66
Posts: 879
Joined: Aug 2012

This is very much familiar to us. Loved one has had tremendous amount of abdominal pain. Since we are just 12 wks out of tx, he had his first PET scan (CLEAN!!!), and nothing showed up for that area either. So, they are treating him with Pepcid. Just started that a few days ago...so, not sure if it will help. Guess they are thinking it's maybe acid reflux or something of that nature.

We are also having pain in both legs that is almost constant. They are assuming this is either radiation leftovers or drugs that he's on. Both the stomach and the legs in pain are the worst for us right now.

Hope you get some answers soon.

(Oh....he also had troubles with BM...but that's gotten better over time)  

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8103
Joined: Sep 2009

Are you saying that the BM situation is all behind him now, LOL...

Tongue Out

JG

cureitall66's picture
cureitall66
Posts: 879
Joined: Aug 2012

OMG!!!! You are too much John!!! Laughing

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1327
Joined: Dec 2012

LOL

GavinP's picture
GavinP
Posts: 80
Joined: Feb 2013

Is that it will turn out to be trauma/inflamation/IBS type problem.

A lot of people don't realise the digestive system is deeply connected to the brain and actually has a very small brain of its own. Any form of upset or illness will always have direct consequences for the stomach.

If this has been going on for months without any other symptoms (bleeding, vomiting, etc...) theres a very good chance it is simply his stomach reflecting how poorly he's been.

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

Does your hubby have a PEG? This is the area where mine was at and perhaps that might be causing his pain?
Billie

bonefamily's picture
bonefamily
Posts: 27
Joined: May 2012

It probably is diverticulosis. He had several attacks of diverticulitis 10 years ago and had a colon resection to remove the diseased section. It has pushed it's way out of our memory with all that has happened the last year!

Today was a bad day - much more pain, but it eased up and he hasn't had any fever, etc.

He gets the scan Monday morning and sees his onc a few hours later. I'll let you know what happens!

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