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Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by mrstoa on Nov 14, 2018 8:52 pm

From what i have read this is apparently a relatively rare cancer ??
does anyone have any info?

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by Brighty on Nov 15, 2018 7:18 am

mrstoa‍  welcome to cancer connection.    I'm sorry you have to find yourself here but glad you chose this site to post on to gather support  and information.     Unfortunately  I don't know much about this type of cancer but im going to tag Lacey_adminCCS‍  Lianne_adminCCS‍  who will be able to help you.   As well.. my favourite  researcher ACH2015‍   who is amazing at researching up to date information.    

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by ACH2015 on Nov 15, 2018 8:53 am

Hi mrstoa‍ 

I read your other post as well, and will respond to both of your posts here.

The link below from the Canadian Cancer Society describes squamous cell anal cancer as being very common. It discusses many aspects and treatment options available. 


Many of the questions you ask won't be answered until you meet your oncologist at the cancer center. The treatment options put forward will determine how much time you will spend in the hospital and if you will be admitted.

The link below from the Canadian Cancer Society is a good guide to help get you organized for your first and subsequent visits to the hospital. I also suggest you get a name and contact number for a social worker at the hospital. They are great assistance in helping with services you may need, and are there to help guide you, and are also someone to talk to before, during and after your treatment.


Waiting is difficult, but once you meet with your medical team, any further tests or imaging and the plan they put forward for your treatment will be explained to you. It''s always a good idea to take someone else with you to help with questions and gathering information. Write down your questions, and don't hesitate to ask the doctors to clarify anything you may not understand during consults.

You can call the Canadian Cancer Society for information and assistance in your area at 1-888-939-3333, There are many services available, including information specialists that can answer specific questions you have about your situation.

I hope this helps you start out on your pathway. As you get more information about specifics, please let us know and we direct you to other members in your situation.

ardenb‍ and Clint‍ are members here that may be able to offer some personal information to you as well.

Keep well and keep in touch with us.

ACH2015 - Andy.


Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by tbruce on Nov 16, 2018 2:09 pm

Good morning. I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis. My name is Theresa and today is my 1 year anniversary of my last Radiation treatment for Anal Cancer and am now cancer free. Have you been told what your treatment will be? I will be more than happy to answer any of your questions during your journey to health. I can tell you right off the bat, the best thing I did was to start a blog with Caring Bridge. It is a website that provides you with venue where you can update your friends and family with any news of your treatment, diagnosis etc.. I was in a panic thinking I was going to have to update so many people and provide details over and over. It just felt overwhelming, along with all the other things I was dealing with. With my blog, anyone who joins the group will get an email whenever I make a post. That way, I was sure to not leave anyone out and it took the pressure off in a huge way. Not only that, but it was extremely theraputic to have a place to vent. As well, anyone who is in the group can send you encouraging messages, which on some days was the only thing that kept me going. I would highly encourage you to go that route. Please let me know of any questions you have. I won't sugar coat anything. Its not an easy treatment, but I lived with horrific pain for 2 years before being diagnosed so really the treatment was not as bad as the 2 previous years. 

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by mrstoa on Nov 17, 2018 2:11 pm

thanks to all who responded to my message and especially to tbruce for suggestion of help.
I am having radiation therapy in Victoria - with no idea of what is involved. I'm waiting for their call to give me dates etc.
i'm concerned  about accommodation, meals etc. i will be alone as dh cannot come with me. 
Funny how these little things are plaguing me.
thanks for invite to fb group

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Nov 17, 2018 5:19 pm

I am glad you were able to get some great feedback and support here.
I have replied to your accommodation request here.

If you have other questions on what resources and services are available to you in your area or near where you are being treated, you can also call our Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333


Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by Elsie13 on Nov 17, 2018 10:20 pm

tbruce‍   Glad you have found cancerconnection!   So great to hear that you are cancer free!  Thanks for explaining about Caring Bridge. I thought maybe you and 
mrstoa‍  would like to know about the tag function.  To tag someone, you type the @ symbol and start typing their name. Several suggestions will pop up, so you just click on the one you want. 

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by tbruce on Nov 18, 2018 4:59 pm

mrstoa‍ Good afternoon. I hope your weekend is as stress free as is possible in your situation. And I"m glad to see that you are figuring out your accommodations etc...  From my experience, the first 3 weeks of radiation are pretty uneventful and not that uncomfortable. So if you are driving yourself to your treatments, you will likely be able to drive yourself for the first 2 - 3 weeks. After that I would recommend you get a ride. In about week 4 you will start to get uncomfortable so driving yourself is probably not a good idea. Feel free to email me at theresabruce01@gmail.com with any questions you may have. I am happy to provide any insight or information that I can. 

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by DaisyCure on Jan 26, 2019 6:27 am

Hello. My mother also has been diagnosed with this type of anus cell cancer. She has just gone through a 5 day first week round of both chemo and radiation. She did not take well too the chemo and is going on the hopes the doctors may not prescribe it at the end of treatment. She will be doing entirely radiation now for next 5wks. Are you only doing radiation though @mrstoa?

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by Elsie13 on Jan 27, 2019 4:16 pm

DaisyCure‍ Sorry to hear about your mother's illness.  Glad you have found cancerconnection.  Maybe mrstoa‍ and tbruce‍ will say hello and give suggestions. 

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by DaisyCure on Jan 27, 2019 6:16 pm

Yes thank you @Elsie13 I am currently with my mother visiting and helping go to her appointments since we live in separate provinces. I have read that this is such a fairly common type of cancer though I've never heard of it before now with my mom. Are there any other threads or members focusing on this type of cancer? Seems that there should be more? Unfortunately. She is also really experiencing heavy amounts of pain due to the tumor.. i wish i knew what others were experiencing. Thanks again.

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by tbruce on Jan 28, 2019 10:27 am

DaisyCure‍ I am so sorry to hear of your moms diagnosis. But please know it is treatable, I am proof of that :-) I know from personal experience how painful that type of cancer is and how tough the treatment is. Before being diagnosed, I was taking 9 extra strength Tylonol every day for 8 months just to get thru the pain. I also remember how hard it was to find any information about it. It actually is a very rare form of cancer for my/our demographic. I was diagnosed in July of 2017 and my treatment lasted 6 weeks, ending mid November 2017. I am now cancer free.  I am more than happy to answer any questions I can for you. 

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by Elsie13 on Jan 28, 2019 3:01 pm



DaisyCure‍   So near the beginning of this thread, Andy, ACH2015‍ posted a couple of links, so I  just reposted them.  (I don't want to say 'scroll up' or 'scroll down' in case it's the other way!)

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jan 30, 2019 12:21 pm

mrstoa‍ - How are you doing? We haven't heard from you in awhile.

DaisyCure‍ - How is your mom doing? Did she continue with treatment?

Thinking of you both,

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by DaisyCure on Jan 31, 2019 3:42 pm

Mr. @tbruce I'm wondering if you had to undergo the chemo along with radiation? My mom is seriously considering refusing it at the end of the 6 week treatment phase. It sounds like a pretty typical course of treatment.. it makes you wonder why they can't adjust it according to severity or differences in cases?? Thanks again and b your words of positive outcome are so very encouraging at this time.

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by tbruce on Feb 2, 2019 12:18 pm

DaisyCure‍ I know, the Chemo part takes a lot out of you. I had one injection of Chemo on the first day, Then chemo in pill form twice a day until week 5 I believe. Then another injection of Chemo. After that, my blood work came back in week 5 indicating I could not tolerate any more Chemo pills so I was off them for the last week. And then of course radiation for 6 weeks every week day. Did you mom buy a Sitze bath? If not, I'd highly recommend getting one early on so that she has it when needed. It provided a lot of relief for me.

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by DaisyCure on Feb 5, 2019 10:20 am

Thank you tbruce‍ ce yes she has a sitz bath and nurses also gave her some special cream to treat burning effects.. that has sulfur in it. And i guess every doctor and facility handles the chemo administration differently. My mom had to have an IV infusion and then a bottle of liquid chemo that was just attached to her arm for 5 days.. they've left a pick line in arm for the end of treatment chemo which would be the same protocol. She absolutely felt like it was killing her and didn't want to go thru it again. I worry for that part coming near as she is now in wk3. So far no real alleviation of the pain? Do you remember when you began to feel positive effects of all the treatment?? Thx again.

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by ACH2015 on Feb 5, 2019 11:10 am

Hi DaisyCure‍ 

I've read back in some of your posts and have some suggestions for you to help your mother manage some of the side effects and pain issues.

1 - Pain: Has your mother discussed tumor pain management with her medical team? Pain is an important factor to get the best control of. Being in constant pain can wear a person down very quickly and make bearing treatments worse.

Many people fear being given pain medications for various reasons. Keeping on top of pain before it get unbearable is the key to keeping dosages at a minimum. This is something worth discussing asap with your mother and her medical team.

The cream you mention (flamazine or other sulfur based) along with the sitz bath  will help manage the physical discomfort.

2 - Treatment plan. I can speak to the regime and what it can do to a person. I've had chemo, surgery x 4, radiation and immunotherapy (so far) during my experience.

It is important for your mother to discuss the symptoms she is suffering from with the medical team. Nausea can be managed with medications, fatigue is managed best by going with the flow, and sleeping / resting when your body says to do so.

Many times the oncologist can modify the chemotherapy regime if the symptoms require it. Low blood counts, infection, and other serious complications mean the treatments can be reduced or postponed until the person is able to tolerate them better. However the best results come with completion of the treatment plan.

You and your mother could benefit from understanding the process, and why its important to complete the many phases involved. Completing only partial treatments will most likely result in substandard results and failure to meet the objectives of the treatment plan. Those include, palliative, control or curative goals.

It's tough and sometimes understanding all the phases of treatment gives the person the extra push needed to move forward and complete the plan.

3 - The PICC line. This is a valuable tool and helps reduce the long term effects of chemotherapy being introduced directly into a vein. My left arm is useless for blood work etc, as I initially did not have a PICC line.

The other benefit is that you don't have to endure multiple needle sticks to get the chemotherapy or other drugs intravenously. One shot - its done.

I hope this information helps you and your mother get through the process a little easier.

Keep well

ACH2015 - Andy.


Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by tbruce on Feb 5, 2019 12:20 pm

DaisyCure‍ It seems your mom is getting a different chemo treatment than I had. I had one infusion then twice daily pills, and then one infusion at the end. It could be because I had exploratory surgery in July to find out why I was in so much pain and the cancerous tumor was removed, and diagnosed as cancer then. I feel horrible for your mom, because I know how dibilitating that tumor pain is. Once it was removed, my pain basically went away until the radiation treatment pain kicked in. So unfortunately, I can't speak to that aspect of her treatment. But I agree with Andy. It's so important to speak to her oncologist about how she feels. Adjustments can be made. They are keeping close watch on her blood so they will know if she needs to be taken off of the chemo or not. 

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by DaisyCure on Feb 6, 2019 6:40 am

Thank you both ACH2015‍  and tbruce‍ .. I know the oncologist had offered mom to double up on her pain narcotics.. she did that just a day ago. I too feel that the long term effects of the pain are one of the worst parts she's been going through. It is helpful to hear of the different regimes for chemo. And yes, the doctors did say they would check and see if the last chemo was even necessary for her. Or whether she could skip it..i guess that's because they will test how her blood is doing.. which they've been doing all along of course. I was hoping mom would go through more alternative form of treatment using vitamin c infusions mixed with traditional the radiation part.. do either of you have any knowledge of those iv treatments? It's a scary form of treatment the chemo especially when considering being so harsh on the body and even healthy cells. Thx again for all feedback.

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by ACH2015 on Feb 6, 2019 7:06 am


You posted questions about Vitamin C infusions on Jan 31/19.

Both ashcon‍ and I responded to your questions. I've copied the thread for you below. In short, there is no proof any of theses alternative therapies work, and I suggest you read the responses in their entirety. This is not an opinion this is a fact.

Conventional caner therapies involving chemotherapy are harsh as you put it. Cancer cells and normal cells are killed in the systemic process, however the normal cells are able to regenerate themselves quickly once the process is completed. The hope is that the chemotherapy destroys the cancer cells or reduces them to the point that surgery or radiation allows for them to be removed (tumor) or further eradicated.


Its good to hear your mother's pain control has improved since the last post.

Keep well

ACH2015 - Andy.

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by tbruce on Feb 6, 2019 2:43 pm

DaisyCure‍ I'm probably no going to explain this very good. But when I asked about Vitamine C infusion prior to treatment, both of my oncologists said that it's fine to do the Vitamine c after treatment is over but not during. Chemo is destroying cells, where Vitamine C is building them, so it is fighting what the Chemo is doing. If she's going to do chemo, she may as well let it do it's horrible thing, which will help her in the end. Both of my oncologists did say that medicinal marijuana is fine tho and I felt that helped both my pain and nauseau a lot.

Re: Squamous cell cancer if the anus

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Feb 7, 2019 7:30 am

tbruce‍ , this is consistent with what Dad’s doctors told him, too. Before he even had surgery, they told him to stop taking anything high in antioxidants - that included Vitamin C supplements (even in multi-vitamin formulas), and turmeric. He could still eat foods with those ingredients in them (but suggested he not eat curry every day - like that was going to happen), but blueberries, and other foods were fine.

DaisyCure‍ ,the health nurse also recommended taking pain meds on the prescribed schedule to prevent “spikes” in Dad’s pain level. He did eventually stretch out his regimen, but for those first few days after surgery, especially, it’s good to have the meds in the system at a consistent level.