As part of my treatment for colorectal cancer, I had pelvic radiation. I was immediately put into a very early menopause. Over the past 2 years, I've developped alot of burning in my urethra and general inflammation, from the radiation. I see my doctor regularly, but I've yet to talk to someone who has also had pelvic radiation. Has anyone else had radiation as part of their treatment, and, if so, are you in any resulting chronic pain, in the pelvic and rectal area? I also had internal radiation, and the area where they zapped me internally, aches as well. Just wondering what meds or palliative treatments you might be using... Thanks.
WELCOME TO MY WORLD!!! My apologies for referring to you as a male in other posts-- I had to take a guess!
Ok, Stage 3C Rectal Cancer-- Male 31y/o at dx. Now 32 (almost 33, but almosts don't count!!) I have been in Chronic pain since my surgery... worsened when they had to dilate the rectal resection (currently the opening is as big as your pinkie-- we'll go there later). Still can't urinate since initial resection (must self cath 5+ times/day), suffer from Erectile Dysfunction-- non-respondant to meds. I'm on serious pain killers (125mcg duragesic and 15mg oxycodone q3-4 for breakthru pain and Neurontin) for the rectal pain that gets so intense it flares to the buttocks, hips, and hamstrings and lower back. I'm soooo glad I've found you, or you have found me!!! My kids just want their Dad back!!! Considering the colostomy. Colorectal keeps pushing me off... thinks nerves will regenerate to control sphincter (BTW--diaper wearer... I'll go into the rest later. Let's see if this posts first!!!)
Oh, BTW I had pre-op chemo and radiation that caused burns and the works. 6/10 positive nodes. And am stage 3C rectal cancer-- tumor was 3cm from anal orifice.
I understand what u guys are going through, as my dad was Rectal cancer stage III and went through the radiation treatment and intensive pain everytime after treatment especially weekends.... and also caused his prostate enlargment and not able to urinate by himself for 2 months.... it will be over once the treatment is over . Hang in there
No, treatment is over... almost a year now from the last chemo. No enlarged prostate. But Radiation and Chemo Adjuvantly especially were he((!
And, WMK, I believe you said you have endured this for two years, or two years have past?
Tigerfish, I'm sorry about your Dad. Is he still a Survivor beating the odds? Unfortunately, Colorectal Cancer is the number is the second leading cause of cancer death in the US and kills more people than breast cancer or prostate cancer.-- Hard to believe, but a reality. That's why I'm notorious on this board as an advocate for colonoscopic screening!
PS BTW Radiation and Chemo are standard protocol for Rectal Cancer now-- often done pre-operatively to shrink the tumor and give the surgeon and patient a better chance at being reconnected. Unfortunately, Radiation does cause after-effects.
Adjuvant Chemo is like insurance chemo after surgery to make certain all cancer cells have been killed.
I think most of us knew this, but I figured I'd add a refresher!
Thanks for your response. Wish I knew about this board a few years ago. I'm now a big advocate for getting a colonsocopy, whenever there is a sign of blood, no matter what your age. When I noticed the blood in my stools, I had no idea that younger people were ever even diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Talk about a quick education!!! Fortunately, the cancer did not invade my rectal wall. After my internal and external radiation, I went into menopause overnight, literally, which, of course brought on it's own myriad of symptoms. It wasn't until about a year past my treatment, that the chronic pelvic and rectal pain became more and more pronounced. My gyno. told me it can take 2 to 3 years to see just what damage the radiaiton has caused. The burning in my urethra and rectal area can be pretty severe. Doubled up in pain at times. Ice packs. Heating pads. Lots of water. Just started taking Elmiron, for the urethritis. I have rectal weakness too, in the area where they internally zapped me. Oh, what fun... Rectal spasms regularly. Sexual dysfunction of course. I'm taking hormones, but I'm worried about the dangers of that. Since pelvic radiaiton increases one's risk of other pelvic cancers, my gyno. recently through out the hysterectomy word, which I wasn't ready to hear. So, more tests await me. The empathy, from this board, helps to ease the pain and the loss.
wmkcolors- I had pelvic radiation in 1975 for uterine cancer - 5000 rads over 3 months. The only problems I can remember from then is servere diarrhea and cramping. I have been on HRT since then with absolutely no problems. The only and definitely worst side effect was rectal cancer in April 2003. My oncologist definitely feels it was caused by the previous radiation. Fortunately it was discovered very early - barely a Stage 1 - and the only treatment was surgery which eventually resulted in a permanent colostomy. This was partially due to the fact my lower previously radiated colon became ischemic after my resection and had to be removed. Also I had my lifetime allowable amount of radiation in 1975. Longterm HRT seems to be OK for those who have had a hysterectomy. I'm taking a bio-identical hormone - Estrace. I do feel very lucky even though I'm missing most of my pelvic organs (!) as I am cancer-free and feeling healthy.Good luck to you!