New To Site And Looking For Information On Help with Side Effects and Diet

Vikkis Member Posts: 2
edited June 2017 in Anal Cancer #1

I am so glad I found this site!  Trying to find as much info as I can to pass on to my sister-in-law who was diagnosed with Stage 2 anal cancer.  She started chemo today with RT starting tomorrow.  I have been reading the site and see good info.  While I download my brain, here are a few things I have taken away from reading, with questions:

Use ointments/creams like Aloe, Aquaphor, Strata XRT, Silver?, Dermoplast Spray, and/or Domeboro soaks to help with the skin problems from RT.  Can you tell me when you started using the ointments/creams, at the beginning or when problems started?  That peeing in a tub/container of water or using a perineum spray while peeing will help “water down” the urine so that it doesn’t burn so much.  Always wash everything off before any radiation treatment you have, as any cream or lotion can intensify the burns. Using Dove soap to wash is good because it’s gentle.  Going commando and using a fan may help.  Also taking 1-2T of mineral oil may help with regulation and BM, also taking daily Imodium.  OMG, I know I read about taking Probiotics, but don’t remember why. 

Another thing, besides trying to have small, frequent meals every 3 hours or so, I don’t know what food may taste best/tolerated well on treatment.  She hasn’t even started treatment and she’s lost 6 pounds.  She’s just not hungry.  Any info you may have would be greatly appreciated. 

 Again, so sorry for my brain download, but would greatly appreciate any other information you may provide.


  • Mollymaude
    Mollymaude Member Posts: 431 Member

    Welcome to the site, and sorry to hear about your sister in law's cancer. But she sounds lucky to have you!! You seem to have soaked up a lot of info in a short time. Just remember that each item mentioned worked for somebody, but probably none of them worked for everyone. For instance, I did not find probiotics all that helpful(used to decrease diarrhea). I used a cleansing foam instead of a peri bottle. Some of us have diarrhea but some of us have constipation because of pain meds. A lot of the things you mentioned won't be an issue for awhile because most people don't start getting radiation burns right away. I didn't start using creams until I started burning. A lot of finding what helps is trial and error and varies from person to person.

  • LindaBaehr
    LindaBaehr Member Posts: 47
    My Underwear Reco

    My recommendation for underwear (if you can't go commando), is men's boxer briefs.  I had to wear underwear due to the fact that I had to wear pads (fistula, diarrhea).  You don't want anything elastic touching in the normal places a woman's panty would touch.  I bought a sitz bath but only used it a couple of times.  I found sitting in the tub much more useful.  Silvadeen cream when the burns start, also used Aquaphore.  My diarrhea was so bad that I didn't need stool softeners on the Oxy.  But everyone is different.  Just pay attention- I have a friend who had rectal cancer, and she got burned so bad it put her in the hospital.  I hope everything goes OK.  

  • mp327
    mp327 Member Posts: 4,440 Member

    Welcome to this site.  It's great that you have found it and are learning as much as you can to help your SIL.  You've obviously already seen a lot of good information.  I began using Aquaphor in the beginning, but as the burning got worse, my doctor gave me a prescription for Silver Sulfadiazine.  If your SIL is given that, please make sure she knows to remove that and any other lotions or creams prior to treatment.  As for urinating, mine was excruciatingly painful towards the end and I did not think about going in a tub of water, but apparently that helps.  As for diet, my appetite tanked and I didn't want to eat anything towards the end.  My medical oncologist told me just to eat what I could.  Your SIL may find that her taste buds completely give out like mine did.  Getting protein is good because it aids healing.  Protein drinks are good sources, along with eggs, Greek yogurt, fish and chicken.  Diarrhea was a big problem for me.  Make sure she has Imodium on hand and if that doesn't work effectively, ask her doctor for a script for Lomotil. 

    I can say that after communicating with others for over 8 years, we all had some common side effects.  However, each person's experience is a little different.  Keep us posted and let us know what side effects she is experiencing and someone here will have dealt with those.  We are here to help.  I wish her all the very best as she begins this journey.


  • Vikkis
    Vikkis Member Posts: 2
    Thanks So Much

     There was such good useful informatin on this site from people who truly want to help make it easier for others.  I will be passing this info on to her today.

    Again, Thank you all for your helpful responses!

  • TraceyUSA
    TraceyUSA Member Posts: 316

    I used Natural Care Gel by Bard (an over-the-counter, aloe-based gel) at the recommendation of my radiologist from the beginning and I think it helped.  I had burns but I don't think they were as bad as many have experienced.  

    My radiologist also recommended a low-residue diet.  I did not use probiotics until after treatment.

    Drinking lots of fluids is very important.

    Best wishes to your SIL.