Recently diagnosed following colonoscopy

daludo Member Posts: 4 Member
edited June 2022 in Anal Cancer #1

A large golf ball sized polyp/ tumor in the lower end of my anus was found during a colonoscopy last week. Yesterday I got results of the biopsy and was told it is squamous cell cancer.

Surgery for removal of tumor is scheduled for a week from tomorrow (8 days) and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed right now.

What questions should I ask and what advice can you give me at this stage of the journey?

Thank you.


  • daludo
    daludo Member Posts: 4 Member

    Correction to my above post. My appointment next Wednesday is for a consultation and test-NOT surgery. I’ve been told by my GI Dr that surgery will probably be recommended, but chemo & radiation may come first.

    Still trying to my head around having cancer. Glad more test will follow before surgery.

  • tanda
    tanda Member Posts: 174 Member

    If chemo and radiation is recommended, the chemo is usually 5FU and Mitomycin C...usually a week in the beginning concurrent with radiation...radiation continues and there is a week, of chemo at the end. You will get a port and a fanny pack for the weekly infusion.

    5 FU also comes in pill form (capecetabine/Xeloda) you take several pills every day. It is unpleasant,, but it usually does NOT cause mouth sores(which are miserable and make eating very difficult) also the pill form is less toxic and the outcome is the same as the Nigro protocol .

    I think the pill form of 5FU may be easier to handle.

  • daludo
    daludo Member Posts: 4 Member

    Thank you for this info. I’ve created a notebook and will make note of the 5FU pill option. When you say it’s “unpleasant” what do you mean specifically?

  • tanda
    tanda Member Posts: 174 Member

    Sorry for the delay; this new format of the list is a bit confusing.

    My treatment was in 2015, so I don't remember all the side effects in detail, the chemo and radiation were concurrent. I think the frequency and urgency of the bladder and bowels were a side effect of both. I had very little appetite...I only lost about 3 pounds and I did NOT have the terrible mouth sores and difficulty swallowing and eating that many people experienced. I also did not have a lower white count that sometimes caused a radiation break.

    Near the last week or two of treatment I had a very mild(but uncomfortable) case of hand and foot is an occasional side effect of 5FU/zeloda; hand and feet are sore and are a bit red. This clears when chemo treatment ended.

    I was never in great pain, but the area being radiated caused the skin on the genital areas to be quite painful.

    Not every one experiences the same side effects and the same degree of discomfort.

    Some studies have been done (Sloan Kettering,etc) that suggests that Xeloda is less toxic in pill form than in an infusion. The outcomes are the same.

    The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation had a conference a few years ago; the Radiation Oncologist who reported the research gave a presentation.

    By the way, the HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation has a trove of excellent information.

    I wish you luck. Please keep us posted; there are many very knowledgeable people on this site. I can also recommend Blog for A Cure that has a section on anal cancer.