Anal cancer - Newly diagnosed T2N1M0 40 years old!!

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im new here to all this, even just making an account on here doesn’t feel real.

i am newly diagnosed, around 2 weeks ago with T2N1M0 anal cancer, i am 40 years old.

i am going for my planning radiotherapy scan today so they can mark me up, hopefully starting my combination of 28 days of oral chemo and radiation therapy on 1st July. 

I have to be fair and give credit where it’s due, the trust who found my cancer and who are looking after me have been so swift and good I’m very impressed.

now the hard part…

I am just about coming to terms with this and hopefully that I do my treatment and this will be it but so worried about the burns and all the stuff I’ve read. 

all of your threads have been so helpful and I’m prepared as much as I can be I think… thanks to you all Pray tone1

I am also a nurse and work with cancer patients and chemo, I ended up sitting two chairs away from one of my patients recently at an appointment which just put things into perspective for me.

( he didn’t see me thankfully) but where is the line of confidentiality for things like this… in the same treatment areas. It’s very difficult.

anyway I am at the start of my journey and I feel everyone else is older than me, am I in a minority of younger patients? 

  • Hi  

    welcome to the group no of us want to be part of . Im 48 so a little older than you and have recently been diagnosed Im slightly behind were you are just had my PET scan so waiting to meet the team who will tell me full details and my plan.

    I hope your day goes well , all we can can do is take each day as it comes. 

    please let us know how you get on , and remember we are all different so we dont know what side effects we will get. 

    there is lots of good advice from this group on dealing with side effects should they happen.

    big hugs 


  • Hi AsLu,

    You are indeed on the young side for this miserable cancer- but that means you'll probably bounce back better and have all the longer to enjoy being cancer-free!

    I'm glad you've found your way here. I think you'll find this site a great comfort as you move through the treatment and recovery.



  • Hello AsLu24

    I am very sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but you have come to the right place for help and encouragement.  I am sure at the moment your mind is in chaos trying to make sense of it all but once treatment starts - and it takes a few weeks - you will feel a lot more in control of what is happening to you.  There have been quite a few forum users around your age but I think what happens is that most people participate during treatment and then go back to living their best lives, as it should be!

    I can imagine that sitting with one of your patients must have made you feel awkward, hopefully you won't face that scenario again.

    By the end of your treatment you will certainly be well placed to help others who are facing the same treatment, it can be brutal but thankfully it is short and extremely effective in eradicating this type of cancer. 

    Once you know when your treatment plan is due to start, if you need help we have lots of coping strategies.

    In the meantime, sending a big hug.

    Irene xx

  • Hi AsLu24 

    Just wanted to reach out  x 
    I was diagnosed when I was 39 and also the  day after the birth of my son.
    I remember at the time also just struggling to get my head around how it was all happening to me. 
    A few weeks later I spent my 40th birthday in hospital having  radiotherapy instead of the big party I'd planned . 

    I know it's really hard right now but as the others have said once you start treatment and you're in it , you will feel more focused. 
    The treatment is harsh there's no denying it but you will get through it. Just try and have as much support around you as possible if you can. 
    I had a newborn at the time and look back and think my god how did I juggle it all but I did. It's amazing what we can do when we put our minds to it. 

    Since being diagnosed I've learnt so much more about cancer and the amount of young people it really affects too. 

    Ive always been very private about my diagnosis however I went completely out my comfort zone a few  months  ago and attended a "Shine" charity event. 
    "Shine"  supports anyone that's been diagnosed /effected by cancer in their 20s,30s,40s . 
    There are different groups ran across the country and it's opportunity to meet others. 

    I couldn't believe I was one of the 'oldest' in the group as the youngest girl was 24 and there was about 30 of us present and that's just one city. 
    Like you'll find on the forum here . It's good to chat with someone that just gets it. 

    The ladies on here have been like angels , I feel so grateful  for their support. If you ever need any advice never feel scared to  reach out.

    I wish you well and I know it feels like a nightmare just now but it will get easier again xx 

  • Hi AsLu24, I was 66 when I was diagnosed and my first appointment with my oncologist before starting treatment was most depressing. She sat and told me all the possible side effects that I could have and it freaked me out. Then she added, you are still young and you will get through it. I did get side effects and they didn’t come all at once but I didn’t get any where near as many as the oncologist had on her sheet of paper! As they occurred I shared this on hear and had many come up with some excellent tips on how to manage them. A sitz bath was one of the top tips. 


  • Hi  ,

    I'm 48 (almost 49) and was diagnosed in February this year.  I have 2 boys (aged 11 and 9).  I finished my 5 1/2 weeks of chemoradiotherapy 3 weeks ago and this group has been a great source of information and comfort while dealing with this horrible disease.

    I hope the planning scan went ok and it's great to know you've already got your treatment start date.  You'll be surprised how quickly the treatment dates will pass once you get into a routine.

    As you go through your appointments and treatment this a great forum to keep coming back to.  

  • Hi 

    thank you all for your reply’s, they’ve been very helpful. I am trying to remain positive, tbh weirdly I keep forgetting about it at the moment as I don’t have any pain or other symptoms. If I didn’t know it was there everything would be normal…

    I’m keeping myself distracted and busy, my treatment has been confirmed to start on 8th July, a week later than I thought.  For 28 days radiotherapy and chemo tablets: the scan went well on Friday. They gave me 3 little tattoos that I see now every time I go to the bathroom. So that’s always a reminder but I try to remain resilient as always. Maybe too resilient for my own good…

    thank you for sharing your experiences with me, it’s really helps and is very comforting knowing you're not alone. 

  • Good luck, this sounds like the same treatment. I had, and I remember the oncologist giving me this big warning about how grim it could all be and all the terrible things that could/would happen.

    In actual fact it WAS tough - but not nearly as tough as I was expecting. I had really thought I woud be on my knees, but with the help and support of the radiotherapy team, I got through it and drove myself and hour and back every day; I was quite tired and liked to have a sleep when I got home, but it was soothing to have a lie down on sofa and watch daytime TV. I didn't feel like eating much because of the chemo tablets, and my bottom was pretty uncomfortable but I just wanted the tumour OUT, so I was ok with the discomfort.

    The physical stuff does vary a lot from person to person, but my onc definitely gave me the worst case scenario re treatment. If you feel you are a resilient person, that will definitely see you a long way. 

    All the best with it, stay in touch x

  • Hi  ,

    Apologies for being a little late to the party so to speak! I’d also like to extend the warm welcome you’ve already received from our lovely members here. I’m also very sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis.

    Unfortunately as you’ll know being a nurse cancer has no respect of age, I read an article a few years ago about female cancers being more prevalent during menopause & peri-menopause because when it hits it depletes our immune systems & therefore our bodies don’t respond as well especially to the cancers that can have a viral link but having said that we’re seeing younger people developing these cancers now too so I’m not sure how much truth there is in that. 

    I feel for you & can completely understand the issues you’re questioning regarding confidentiality around patients you’re likely to bump into in clinics etc., mine was a different scenario but I can sympathise. I dealt with my diagnosis very privately in the beginning, it’s just the way I deal with trauma until I get my head around it, I only told my immediate family, half a dozen of my closest friends & my manager at work but then one day at clinic I found myself sitting across from a girl from work that had also been having treatment at the same hospital! She had lived her cancer journey out very publicly at work but if she hadn’t I know I wouldn’t have discussed anything about seeing her but felt control over who knew about my cancer journey was lost in the instant that she saw me there. I did tell her that I’d not made it common knowledge that I had cancer & that I’d appreciate it if she’d keep it to herself & thankfully she did. 

    I’m pleased to hear that you have a start date for your treatment, as has been mentioned once it starts things will settle down a bit & you’ll hopefully feel you’ve regained a little more control again. The best bit of advice I can give for approaching your treatment is take it one day at a time, although there are common threads regarding the side effects of this treatment remember we're all individuals & our bodies respond likewise. 


  • Hi I also get my diagnosis private only telling a few people it is a personal decision and most people respect it xx