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Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2012

Hi all! I just had a quick question about radiation side effects. My mom is entering her fourth week of treatment and has been doing really well so far. The one complaint she has is about swelling. The area around the anal canal is severely swollen and it is making having a bowel movement quite difficult. Her radiologist informed her that it is most likely scar tissue forming.

I was just wondering what everyone's experience is with swelling in that region. Does the scar tissue eventually begin to subside so that things are not so obstructed? How long does this take?

Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it. :)

Dog Girl
Posts: 100
Joined: Sep 2010

I didn't have swelling like that, but then my tumor was higher up on my sphincter muscle itself. If your Mom is not having issues with diarrhea, I would suggest she take a stool softener. It won't make her go, but when she does, it should be softer and hopefully easier. I don't know where her tumor is, but if the swelling is closer to the anus, what about ice packs of some sort? You can make your own with a combination of rubbing alcohol and water (go on the internet for the ratio; I don't remember), and use a snack size ziploc bag inside of a larger ziploc bag. It never freezes solid; it just gets mushy and you can wrap it in a hankerchief and it should fit between the cheeks. (Oh what we go through for relief!) I don't know if this will work or not. Hopefully someone else has been through this and has a better solution. Good luck to your Mom; she is getting closer to the end of her treatment!

Posts: 1255
Joined: Oct 2011

I too had a great deal of swelling and yes slowly it did subside, tho almost a year after I have some scar tissue in the area that may need to be removed with surgery. I have been told it can take a couple years to go away or at least lessen. I have a colostomy bag so going to the BR was not an issue, but have run in to others who as was said recommend keeping the stool as soft as possible. Good luck, this cancer has such personal side effects and it is difficult to discuss with just anyone. I am so thankful to have this place to seek advice. We'll be thinking of you and your mom.

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