Anal Cancer?

Are you having, or have you had a Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy (LIS)? Please share your experiences here, or ask any questions.

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Anal Cancer?

Postby ac_lon » 23 Jul 2012, 07:25

Hi everyone
I haven't posted on this forum for quite some time, so long that I've had to create a new username and password because I forgot the old one! Sorry for fading away once my symptoms improved....
After suffering with anal fissures for almost 3 years I opted for the lateral sphincterotomy operation in March this year. I know recovery can be long but having the procedure done was the best thing I could have gone with and my condition improved so much. In a few weeks the fissures had healed, going to the toilet wasnt such a traumatic ordeal and I wasn't slowly going insane any more!! 4 months on I still try and drink as much water as possible, eat prunes religiously morning and night, eat as much of a good diet as possible for a busy guy living in London and working hard, and am still taking Movicol twice a day. I've had a couple of minor set backs when an unfortunate bout of constipation has caused me to bleed a little - something I can only put down to taking my eye off the ball with the healthy eating/drinking slightly and getting dehydrated. But I've quickly healed after these episodes. However the recovery down there is so sensitive, the skin tears at even the slightest bit of a hard stool it does worry me a bit that things are still not quite right
Now, I'm a HIV+ gay man and, speaking frankly, haven't been on the receiving end of anal sex for a long time (about a year) It's just been too much of a traumatic experience and lets face it - that's not what sex is about. I've suffered from anal warts in the past and had to have a few freezing treatments to get ride of them but they've never been more than an annoyance. Around the time I finally decided to go for the sphincterotomy I had an anal PAP smear done which is kind of like a cervical cancer smear that women get. Only today have I had a phone call regarding this smear where the advisor told me that when I go for my surgery followup with my surgeon next week that they will do a repeat PAP smear, and if they don't mention this then I need to tell them to do one because apparently there were some signs of "changes" on my first smear.
So then I look on the internet about anal cancer and a leading cancer charity in the UK has the following on anal cancer:
Causes and Possible Risk Factors
Human Papilloma Virus (anal warts)....... Check.
Sexual Activity - "people who have had anal sex are more likely to develop anal cancer. This may be because they are more likely to have anal HPV"...... Check.
Lower Immunity - "Anal cancer is more common in people who have a lowered immunity, such as people taking medicines to suppress their immune system after an organ transplant or people with conditions such as HIV."........ Check.
Smoking - I'm a social smoker so I have a few cigarettes on a night out with friends etc...... Check
Signs and Symptoms
The website lists bleeding from the anus, and pain discomfort and itching amongst the signs. A few of which I thankfully don't have such as small lumps around the anus, bowel incontinence, and discharge from the anus
All of the above plus the small thought in the back of my mind about why I've had so much trouble with my bum over the last few years and why it's still taking so long to recover from the fissures and it being so sensitive to even a slightly hard stool and causing bleeding has really got me paniced. Especially now that they want to repeat this test because of abnormalities.
Has anybody had a similar experience, or heard of any? I've got a week to go until I can see the surgeon and get the test done and then it will more than likely be another wait before I get anything back from it, and I can't help but wonder the worst!!
More than anything this has just been a way for me to vent rather than lumbering a friend or my mother with this information.
Thanks guys xx
ac_lon
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Re: Anal Cancer?

Postby Ever the Optimist » 23 Jul 2012, 13:37

Hi AC,
Sorry to hear of your plight and the fear you are currently encountering over "what it might be"....
I haven't had the same experience as you but I certainly felt a lot of fear and distress and worry about my anal issues! I ploughed through the net for any information relating to my condition, read horror stories and convinced myself I had all sorts to the extent I became thoroughly anxious and depressed by it all. Please don't self-diagnose!!...It just makes things worse. Leave it with your CRS to sort out and just take things day by day. From what I read, anal cancer is VERY rare and the "changes" might be something totally different to your biggest fear.....
Hoping that everything goes well for you with your surgeon and vent all you want in the meantime! That's what this site is for! Image
Chronic Fissure diagnosed December 2011
Healed by Diltiazem around Feb 2013
Anal Fistula followed burst abscess in June 2012
2 internal troublesome piles remain & suspected, but undiagnosed, ongoing Levator Ani type symptoms & flare-ups
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Re: Anal Cancer?

Postby jr2 » 23 Jul 2012, 14:01

ac...
I haven't had the same experience either, but I am really encouraged to hear that you have doctors who are staying on this for you, and doing the necessary testing, especially given your medical history with HIV and HPV. I agree with Ever the Optimist that it is important not to panic or self diagnose, but it is also important to be persistent and to get the appropriate testing done for your individual case. In the event that there are cancerous or even pre-cancerous changes the treatments available for the earliest possible detection will be way easier on you to tolerate. Pap smears will also often just show changes in cells that have nothing to do at all with cancer, and that's why it's critical to repeat the test as you have already been advised.
Hopefully someone will jump in who has had personal experience with what you are going through, but we're here to listen and to help in any way we can.
Please keep us posted, ok?
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