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Sore bottom

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005


Hi all,

LOL...felt it necessary to preface my current post with above warnings...even though I'm sure most have us have gotten pretty used to talking about our bottoms.

So here's my situation...I have a nasty itchy external rash around my anus. I have actually had this a couple times before prior to my cancer diagnosis and chemo treatment.

I'm currently trying to treat it with Monistat as I think maybe it is some kind of yeast infection. I've talked to oncologist nurse about the problem and she suggests trying Monistat as well. I probably need to make an appointment with primary care physician to get it officially diagnosed.

It is very itchy and painful to have Bowel movements which is a new symptom that I think is caused / exacerbated by Chemo treatments. I may also be starting radiation soon for the rectal tumor, which I have heard can be very irritating the the rectum and anus.

Anyways...I am going to make an appt with primary care doc. But wanted to post to hear if anyone has had bouts of rashes and irrition with chemo and radiation and how they handled it. Any special salves? I need to get this under control before it gets worse and I start radiation.

Thanks much
(and sorry for the gross-out!)

Posts: 106
Joined: Mar 2005

sorry about your bottom-- I'm sure it is not funny--- I've wondered about protection against it-- I'm starting to carry baby wipes in my purse so I do not have to irritate it more. Maybe treat it as you would your baby's rash,,,,That's all I can help with. I hope you take care of it, you certainly do not want an infection due to skin irritation. Good luck!

Posts: 205
Joined: Apr 2005

Hi Maria, as Neelie said...I'm sure it's not funny and if anything painful. You may need to take an antibiotic or/and something like prednizone. If the Monostat isn't doing the job, I'd get to the Dr. (I know... but??) Luvnhugggs ~ Wanda

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Maria,
I don't have any advice for you at this stage, I'm afraid. However, I do have some experience with irritation in that area during radiation treatment.I'm sure there is a lot of individual variation and I don't want to frighten you ahead of time. Since you are going through this now, you will probably sail through the radiation just fine! However, I did end up with very sore skin during radiation. Things I did: lukewarm water "spritz bath" with (??I can't remember what it was called but it looked purple and then stained my butt brown - charming). Also, I hooked up a long flexible shower nozzle thing so it could reach my toilet. I couldn't tolerate toilet paper or wipes AT ALL -- so rigged up this sort of portable bidet deal! That helped a lot. I was told by the radiation staff that I could not use ANY creams, without their prior permission, as some can interfere with the effectiveness of radiation. They gave me a steroid cream to use on two separate occasions. Both times I just used for about 2 days, and that helped a lot. I was quite miserable for a few weeks. HOWEVER, it did eventually go away and completely heal. Like I say, you will probably sail through the radiation just fine now! My main advice is to be outspoken with the staff about what you are experiencing -- they had lots of good suggestions for me. Good luck with both the current situation and also your upcoming radiation.

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

hi maria,

itchy hinder, eh? If you think it's a yeast infection then topical creams are really not the solution. Yeast is systemic so you need to fix it from the inside out----cut out all sugars and refined foods if you have not already (which I am sure you have since you're dealing with cancer and cancer feeds on sugar). Fruits can bring on yeast too.

i would do a search on candida and go from there. Worth a try.

hope this helps.

peace, emily

Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

You have what is known in the medical field as pruritis ani (yes, we docs like anmes that make us sound knowledgable but really it is just latin for itchy bum!) It is a common condition in everyone (including those not on treatment or without cancer). Yeast is a common cause but so is general irritation from diarrhoea. It will probably clear with the yeast cream accompanied by good hygeine and gentle care (baby wipes and a barrier cream can help). You primary care doc will be very familiar with and be the main person to help.
As for radiotherapy effects, yes it can cause some irritation to the skin esp if they are targetting a low lying rectal tumour. I had some skin burn after about 5 weeks which continued for a few weeks after I finished (it does tend to be delayed side effect because fo the way the radiation interferes with skin cell renewal). Barrier cream and baths were teh best for me but it si just important to keep your treatment team (esp the nurses and radiotherapists who you will see a lot of) up to date as they have seen it all a million times before. Overall radiotherapy really wasn't too bad and in many ways feels almost too inocuous to be of any use- lie on a table, hear a buzzing noise for 20 seconds, feel nothing, get up and leave- all very wierd. But in truth it is one of the key reasons why rectal cancer has a better prognosis than colon cancer where radiotherapy isn't an option.
Do let us know how you get on with your treatments and wil be thinking of you.

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I know way too much about butt burn. I had it for way too long. I ended up with radiation proctitis and boy did my butt hurt. what worked for me the best was lots of long tub baths, 3-4 a day. Also I ususally used soft tissues, and either barrier cream or just plain old vaseline. Vaseline worked so good to help with the sore butt. and i tried every kind of cream and salve that was recomended. Sometimes it was so bad that I even took narcotic pain pills. They helped with the pain.

You will get through this. Keep us posted.


MJay's picture
Posts: 132
Joined: Aug 2004

Hi Maria~

About 1 1/2 months after surgery to remove my rectum and various other female body parts I developed a rash where my anus used to be. This was very frustrating because I felt that if you no longer had a bum them you should no longer have bum issues meaning... why the heck did I get a rash when I didn't even use the darn thing???!!

I went to a dermatologist for other rashes on my body that we attributed to a reaction to chemo. I wasn't sure the dermatologist would deal witht he bum rash because through this whole cancer thing I learned how territorial doctors were. I thought he would refer to my colorectal surgeon because this was "his area". Fortunately the dermatologist looked at the bum rash, did some tests and found out I had a minor staph infection. He prescribed an ointment and VOILA.. no more rash. Boy, I have to tell you, I was in a lot of pain at the time. I had attributed it all to surgery but it was due to the rash. I became a new woman once that cleared up.

Something to think about.


MJay's picture
Posts: 132
Joined: Aug 2004

OH! One more comment... on the rectal radiation... I went through 22 radiation sessions. About 3 days after my last treatment the "radiation burn" really began to take effect. I combatted it with many daily sitz bath in baking soda and water. This helped tremendously to "put out the fire". In addition my husband applied aloe vera gel straight from the plant leaves. I tried the "100% Aloe Gel" purchased at a pharmacy and that burned more. After reading the ingredients, it wasn's actually "100% Pure". I went through two whole huge aloe plants but it helped so much. My radiologist kept commenting how wonderful my skin looked and I attribute it all to the Aloe.

Just a helpful hint. Worked for me.


Posts: 259
Joined: Nov 2004

Hey, we're all right here, ready to get involved with your itchy butt, in whatever language you prefer to name it! That's what the semi-colon club is all about, bowels and butts.

Anyway, I too have been there, done that. This too will pass. One item nobody else has mentioned are Tuck's medicated pads with witch hazel. More soothing than toilet tissue for those times you have to use SOMETHING.

Good luck!

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Thank-you all so much...and for not being turned off by the personal details! All this info is exactly what I needed. You guys are awesome, supportive, educational and funny folks.

My bottom is getting a little better with the Monistat and I go see my primary care doc tomorrow. Also got great news today.. in the midst of this I was having problems with my insurance company..I'm due for scans and they were hassling about some details. But today everything is clearing up.

Thanks again for all the tips...will definitely be very useful when I start radiation.

: ) Maria

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Maria. I have to agree with MJay here. Jen has always had "natural" growing Aloe Vera in the garden. We use it for all types of itching, bites , stings and yes....I used it on my sore butt! I still have an anus but I can tell you that it was not a pretty site during chemo. The frequent barhroom journeys and very loose motions had the rear end burning big time. Aloe vera in natural form is very soothing. I will however say that you should consult your doc before trying it because as the others have said, there may be other reasons for your discomfort. I think in the general publics eyes Aloe Vera is very underated..for me it is great!
Oh, and Maria......I NEVER blush when talking about my butt....tsk! tsk! lol!
luv, kanga n Jen

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2005

I know all about sore bottoms I've been dealing with one on a daily basis for almost three years.The radiation and pelvic exteneration I had causes me to go to the bathromm 15 or 20 times every time I eat,due to the fact that they took a very large part of my colon to make a new bladder for me. As a result I have such burning and itching from so many bowel movements and external and internal hemmoroids. It really gets to me sometimes but they say theres nothing to be done about it, they've tried everthing.Even so I have never lost my appetite,and I am lucky to be here at all,I always think of those who have it so much worse than me so I don't feel sorry for myself. This is a subject that no one wants to hear about and since I'm single I spend alot of time alone.I do have two wonderful daughters than that have been so supportive,I don't know what I would have done without them. God Bless! and hang in there

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