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itching and stinging? Worried and need support ... help!

Posts: 242
Joined: Feb 2011

Hey folks ... do you or did you still get some itching and stinging in your anus even around the 7 - 8 month point post treatment? I worry because it is in the area of the original biopsy/ulcer. I believe this ulcer/biopsy area was still not healed when I had radiation and chemo and is having a hard time healing as it was stinging and itching right after treatment too. I need encouragement. 3 month and 6 month follow up with PET and CT, exam under anesthesia in May and DRE in August all "normal" ... not even inflammation. "radiation proctitis" is what they think is going on but it feels stingy and itchy esp after BMs in morning .... to be clear this is inside my anus not the outside skin ...sound normal or similar to you? Is it normal for this area to still be healing at 8 months ... thoughts?? Lots of mucus but no visible blood other than a speck now and then.

I still have 2 - 3 bms a morning ... do you? Seems to itch and burn in there at that time and sometimes during the day.

I woke up anxious .... please help me calm down. xo

mp327's picture
Posts: 4106
Joined: Jan 2010

This sounds like irritation/inflammation to me, especially since you mentioned that it happens after BM's. I believe that our anal areas continue to be super-sensitive, even years out from treatment. Think of it as severely burned skin on the outside of your body--some damage is irreversible. Since all of your scans and follow-ups have been negative, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Easier said than done, I know, but I really think this is all normal.

z's picture
Posts: 1401
Joined: May 2009

Hello, I know I still get itchy sometimes as soon as a week ago, I had been very itchy, after completing tx on 6-30-09. A daily bath would help to keep the area clean as a whistle. Don't try to itch or rub, just pat the area. The skin doesn't need to be irritated anymore than it has been. Furthermore, this area is always damp and that makes it take longer to heal. One day at a time it will get better, but baths I believe are the best relief. I wish you well. Lori

AZANNIE's picture
Posts: 443
Joined: Mar 2011

Yes, sitz baths and baby wipes are my friends. I have to watch what I eat, but if I eat something a little spicy I suffer at the end...

RoseC's picture
Posts: 558
Joined: Jun 2011

I STILL get stinging at the original biopsy site, almost three years out. It's internal, just like yours. No itching now, just stinging, but I remember having TONS of itching both after the biopsy, and during and after treatment. My colo-rectal surgeon said that particular area may always be sensitive and irritable.

Posts: 374
Joined: Jan 2011

I am 8 months post and have mild burning and itching from time to time but I just think of it as a reminder that still have a very special ***. :) If it is really painful, of course, tell your doctor.

I have found that the number of bowel movements I have during the course of the day has everything to do with the food I consume. When I eat a lot . . .or eat something high in fat, I poop more than once a day. And high fat, greasy food just does not agree with me in any way, shape or form anymore. So I eat buffalo burgers, baked fries, etc. And everything in moderation. Controlling the bm's also controls any burning I may have.

Don't worry. I think what you are feeling is very normal.

Blessings to you!!!


(Lori is so right. Baths and keeping your bottom super clean controls the itching.

shirlann54's picture
Posts: 162
Joined: Aug 2011

I have that too sometimes .Its been 8 months post treatment.If i have about 3 or more bms back to back i get like that .I take wipes or soft tissues ever were i go and desitin .Because when go and use plublic restrooms there tolet paper will rub you raw .And i have had that happen a few times.Thats when i need my desitin. With your PET and CT comeing back clean your your ok .Do something you really injoy and get out as much as you can.And that will help take that anxious feeling away.Good luck

z810840b's picture
Posts: 212
Joined: Jan 2010

i am over 3 years NED and still have occasional itching and often still have burning.My new normal...alyse

Posts: 562
Joined: Apr 2011

I was at a comedy show the other night, I was hit by a sharp pain deeeep inside my butte, I screamed. No one but my husband noticed. I am 10 months out and get crazy stabbing pains inside my butte, and in my groin occasionally, they can really take me by surprise. Someone said it is a healing pain, I am going to go with that. All my tests have been clear. I am still tired, occasionally I have a day That I feel really good. It gives me hope as they are becoming more frequent.

I hope your pains and itching ease soon. I never had any itching but I know a lot of the others have.

Take care of yourself.

AZANNIE's picture
Posts: 443
Joined: Mar 2011

I have at LEAST 2-3 bms a day. Sometimes I wonder if I should put a tv in the bathroom... and if I eat something spicy it burns. Have you tried a warm sitz bath (even though it's on the inside maybe it will calm things down) with some baking soda? Sometimes it burns on the outside so I've tried Aveeno diaper rash cream.

sandysp's picture
Posts: 862
Joined: May 2011

Pre diagnosis I fixed spicy food every night. But starting out, my first conversation with the nutritionist she broke the bad news to me that those days are probably behind me forever. She told me that anal cancer patients won't be successful eating spicey foods without suffering consequences on a long term basis. The radiation treatments change us.

Posts: 374
Joined: Jan 2011

Sandy ~ Maybe I am one of the few, but spicy food, in moderation, has had absolutely no negative consequences for me at all and I hopefully won't. My diet consists primarily of lowfat meat and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. And I'm crazy about hot salsa and pico de gallo. From what I have experienced, radiation treatments haven't changed how my body tolerates food. Just encouraging everyone to keep an open mind and find out for yourself what works for you and what doesn't.

Posts: 242
Joined: Feb 2011

Thank you all for your support. I started on an anti inflammatory suppository and hope this encourages healing or somthing.

I do hope its healing in there and not a problem. I get anxious and think that there is dysplasia at the least or residual disease. I haven't had a biopsy so I don't have a clean pathology to go by. I sometimes wonder if the area was so small they missed it with the radiation or because there was open ulcer in there that the cancer cells, although only microscopic, didn't get killed. Given I had only microscopic disease left in there the radiation oncologist felt a "boost" was not necessary. So no radiation boost.

Some days I don't worry and some days I do .... I just want it gone!


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