Anal skin tag

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Hi , 

I forgot how great this forum is ! When I read back through post we are all in the same boat . When I think it’s just me … 
Toilet urgencies, fear of going out , is my tiredness from treatment or just me lazy !? I am 18 months post treatment and awaiting results from a CT scan.

sadly a friend of mine passed away 2 days ago from the same cancer, we met through my personal blog. This stirs up a whole world of emotions why her not me ?? Why did my treatment work not hers …. 

my next question is has anyone had surgery for external skin tags from radiotherapy? I was booked for surgery to have mine removed all prepared then the surgeon came into see me. He said he didn’t wontt to go ahead with the surgery as it could cause further stenosis this was not explained before . I was devastated I had been nil by mouth 8 hrs had my tights and gown on literally ready to go down JoyHe said it was my choice and left me to think about it. I go dressed and went to have something to eat Joy 

but the reason I wanted them removed is I find cleaning around them difficult and makes the area sore along with itchy skin. I fear when I get older the cleaning maybe more difficult, I am 48 but i am thinking ahead ! 
lastly I have gain so much weight my belly is the worst some days it’s bloated and I look 6 months pregnant, I can’t wear jeans the pressure makes me need to go to the toilet.
 On a positive note I am booked for pelvic floor physio next month to hopefully help with the bowel control !

as I said a whole world of emotions have stirred and the waiting for results is painful. Just looking for answers xx

  • Hi  , 

    It’s good to hear from you although I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your friend. This loss is bound to have stirred up such a lot of emotions for you & these emotions are sometimes really difficult to deal with, you’re dealing with not only the loss of a friend but it will have also made you come face to face once again with your own mortality, it’s so difficult. 

    I didn’t suffer many episodes of toilet urgency except for first thing in the morning but the fatigue continued coming & going for quite some time. I tried building my stamina a bit by walking a little further with the dog but on days that I was back in work some days the poor pooch  literally got far enough to do her business then we were back home. 

    I can imagine the skin tags are uncomfortable! I’m no Dr & obviously not medically trained but I can’t understand how the removal of them could cause stenosis, especially if they’re external. The area would probably be pretty sore following the surgery for a little while I should imagine where washing opposed to wiping would be more comfortable. I would maybe have another conversation with the surgeon to see if you can get a little more clarity so that you can make a more informed decision. 

    I suffered terrible bloating from different foods & drinks for ages following treatment, it seemed to have left me with quite pronounced IBS type symptoms. These have diminished over time & there’s only a few certain foods that affect me in that way now so I tend to steer away from them. Have you tried keeping a food diary? Just documenting food eaten & any reaction can make things really clear on which foods or even food groups you’re most sensitive to. 

    I hope your CT results come back quickly & that your pelvic floor physio offers you some relief. 


  • Hello Bumwarrior

    It is so good to hear from you again.  I am so sorry to hear about your friend, it certainly is a frightening reality check, my condolences.  

    Like Nicola, I honestly can't see how removing an external skin tag would cause stenosis (I have this) unless the skin tag is partially internal, partially external and the anal sphincter is involved.  How frustrating for you, especially when you were all prepared to go.  I am assuming that the one who refused to do the surgery wasn't the one that you saw in the first place who put you forward for this.  I think it is definitely worth revisiting this if you find the skin tag uncomfortable.

    I am two years out of treatment and fatigue is an ongoing issue for me.  I need 9 hours sleep a night, at least, and I have just adjusted my life to early nights and late mornings (which are punctuated by lots of loo visits!)

    Hoping your results are really good and will put your mind at rest until the next one, the scanxiety never goes for most of us, I'm afraid, it just goes with the territory.

    Sorry I can't give you answers, but thinking of you as you wait.

    Irene xx

  • Hi BumWarrior, I was around two years post treatment when I developed a small pea sized lump just outside my anus which would get inflamed and like you it was difficult to keep that area clean. I would keep wiping to clean making the soreness worse. My oncologist didn’t know what it was but certain it was not cancer and wanted to take a photo of it to show the surgeon. Four days later I had a call from my oncologist who said could I be booked in for surgery five days later as they had a cancellation. I had this done as a day surgery and after the anaesthetic wore off it was pretty uncomfortable. It wasn’t cancerous but possibly a Fibroepithelial polyp. They discussed seromas which can become swollen and sometimes go away but can also grow and has to be drained. I think you are right to want it removed if it’s affecting hygiene and we do think about how these side effects will affect us as we get older. Since having the lump removed I hardly have any discomfort when cleaning and it hasn’t come back. I don’t think my sphincter is any different now to what is was before but I do pelvic floor exercises and try to remember to do them regularly. 
    I am sorry to hear about your sad loss of your friend which can kind of make you feel vulnerable and worry, but you are two years post treatment and my oncologist said that is a good goal post and hope you continue NED.
    I hope your surgeon has a change of heart or you can get some more information on the reason they won’t do it in more detail 


  • Hi Bumwarrior!

    I'm confused by this. I cannot imagine how skin tags (or their removal) could be responsible for stenosis. 

    And I'm no expert, but the unprofessional-ism of leaving it until you're gowned and ready for surgery, then dropping that bombshell on you and giving you the 'choice' is .... not okay. I think I'm glad that whatever the outcome of this, that this lackadaisical surgeon isn't the one working on you. 

    A skin tag is what took me to get checked out in the first place. I remember well how difficult and often painful it was to clean around it. Grrrr.

    I'm 2 years out, and still have a long, long lead time every single morning before I go out. My energy is certainly better than the first year after treatment, but nowhere near my old self. But with 65 looming, it could just be age. But I don't think so.

    I've sadly regained all my pre-cancer weight. It was nice to be able to just look down and see my feet (between my boobs, there's no overlooking them big girls) but no more. 

    I am able to walk more distance now, so hoping the warm weather will encourage me to do more of that, and maybe lay off the Easter candy and get a bit more svelte.

    All lightheartedness aside, I'm SO sorry to hear about your friend dying from this miserable cancer. Heartbreaking on many levels. Big hugs to you. 

    You're not lazy. Keep us posted on the physio. 



  • Thank Suz 

    yeah I was totally baffled and when your in your own , I sent my husband home, and starving hungry and little did I know I also had covid Face palm♀️Face palm♀️ it was the wrong time to make me decide.

    yeah my day certainly starts slow well fast if you count the running to the loo trips !! I arrange everything after 10.

    on the positive I have started sea swimming, nit in my wildest dreams would I ever imagine don’t this ! However my local macmillian group ran an 8 week program on sea swimming which I signed up to after a few glasses of wine Wine glass 

    what a game changer I laughed, cried and made the most lovely group of friends, my stomach feels amazing in the sea the most comfortable it feel’s all day. My skin also feels soothed , 

    can’t wait to get out into it today mind distraction as I am still waiting for my scan results and getting very angry with life at the moment.

    thank you for you kind response. Take care 


  • Few things soothe my soul and body like sea swimming. But I'm an island girl. I cannot IMAGINE getting into it off the shores of the British Isles. EEEEEEEEEK!

  • Me neither Suz! The thought of where my feet might be standing. Flushed