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Signet Ring Cell Adenocarcinoma of Rectum

Posts: 22
Joined: May 2017

A family member was diagnosed with this type of cancer in May 2017 by a vascualar surgeon #1 who told her she had between 1-3 years to live.  At the time a different vascular surgeon #2, in concert with her GP and 1st Oncologist, began treating and testing her for an abdominal aneurism, heart disease and high cholesterol, and ring cell cancer.  She has seen many different doctors since then.  And I'm not going into all the details of the up and down battles with all the doctors she has seen.  But I can say this, she has been put through the ringer.

So far she has seen three (3) Oncologists at the same hospital and one (1) Radiologist and has endured many tests both locally and several miles away from her home.  It took about 4-months for her cancer treatment to begin.  She has about 4- treatments left and then she will wait two months for that to heal.  Then they will do surgery to remove the tumor.  I haven't said anything to her, but I fear what that surgery may entail.  I've read so much about resection surgeries for persons with this type of cancer.  But I pray and hang onto hope for her recovery.

Along with the radiation, she takes 3-pills in the a.m. and 3-pills in the p.m. on days she receives radiation treatment.  The chemo medicine is generic for Xeloda 500 mg--Capecitabine.  She is taking 180 centiGrays (cGy) of radiation, 5 days a week until she reaches 4,500 cGy.

At one point in her treatment she was in horrible pain in her rectum and vagina.  And any time she called the staff at the cancer center, they would tell her to go to ER.  She finally went to a hospital ER that was 50 miles from her local ER hospital.  And that ER doctor confirmed she had a tear between her anus and vagina.  Unfortunatley the cream this doctor prescribed did nothing to relieve her discomfort.  Her pain was so bad over a duration of time she was threatening suicide, but fortunately, she would talk to people close to her when she felt that way.

What ires me, is none of these damn doctors who are highly trained and educated prescribed effective pain relief cream.  It was ME! who told her about sulfadane (sp-?) cream.  That cream worked for me when I endured treatment for anal cancer 4-years ago.  It's the wrong pronunciation but somehow she communicated that cream to her radiologist and he prescribed it for her.  The cream worked so well, it cleared up her problem in two! days.  Now WHY! didn't her Oncologist think of that when she first complained about the burning pain?  Why did they let her suffer for so long?

Thanks for listening.  Many blessing to Everyone.



Posts: 22
Joined: May 2017

I found the name of the cream that helps relieve pain from radiation treatment.  Silver sulfadiazine cream.  I was prescribed this cream when undergoing radiation for anal cancer.  It cleared up my skin condition very quickly and relieved the pain.

Posts: 22
Joined: May 2017

My sister-cousin passed April 20, 2018, approximately 1-year after being diagnosed with signet ring cell adenocarcinoma of the rectum.  This type of cancer is rare and the patients' prognoses are poor.  But we kept hope upon hope up to the very end of her treatment.  She was a very courageous 74 year old and put up a good fight.  But this cancer is so aggressive and fast spreading and usually isn't found until in stage IV.  Sadly we lost her but her love and memories will stay in our hearts forever.

Mikenh's picture
Posts: 777
Joined: Oct 2017

Signet Cell is tough from the research I've read but I've seen people survive it. The resection itself is also challenging but I'd assume that she'd get an ileostomy and rest the large intestine while undergoing adjuvant chemo. Then, after healing, either a reversal or permanent colostomy.

I'm 59 and have found all of the treatment pieces quite challenging and I'm recovering from the reversal which should take a year. So it's likely still a long road, but, if they got the cancer in the first two stages, then she might be in good shape, at least in regard to the cancer.

I went to a radiation center and the nurses were the experts with the creams and lotions to deal with pain and skin issues. The folks here are great too because of the concentration of experience.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6687
Joined: Feb 2009

Unfortunately a lot of doctors don't tell you about what can help.  Most of my information was gotten from this board of informed patients.  I'm sorry that she had to go through that.  Just wish doctors would pay more attention to the patient's needs and not just treatment options.


Posts: 22
Joined: May 2017

I watched my cousin get bounced around between several Oncologist at three (3) different hospitals, plus she saw other specialists and GP's.  It was maddening.  But I had to be understanding of other issues pending her diagnoses of cancer.  She was told her aortic aneurism could go at any time and she could die immediately.  She lived with that fear before she had the surgery and yet she was so brave through it all.  I'm just sorry she suffered so much pain and discomfort. 

And yes, this forum is very helpful in offering personal success stories related to various pain creams, etc  I was one of the lucky ones who had doctors who took care of my prospective pain needs before the pain got to me, especially that silvadane cream. It saved my bottom and allowed me to find comfort in sitting and laying.

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