Local recurrence of rectal cancer 8 months after anterior bowel resection

I am new to any kind of forum.  I had anterior bowel resection last year.  There is recurrence of the cancer at the join, which means I have to have chemoradiation to shrink this tumor prior to surgery.  Is there anyone out there who has gone through chemoradiation to shrink a tumor before surgery and can tell me about their experience.

I don't know if I am using this forum correctly, so any tips would be welcome from anyone wih the above situation.

  • Hi  and a warm welcome to the board. Yes you’re using the forum correctly! If you want to ‘tag’ someone into a post then just type a @ followed by their name (no space) and a pop up should appear so you can select their name.

    Chemoradiotherapy is used regularly to shrink a tumour before surgery especially those with a rectal tumour. I had it in 2016 and it shrank my tumour by 75% allowing the surgeon to remove it with clear margins. The chemo is quite a low dose in tablet form which is used to enhance the effect of the radiotherapy. The main side effects are fatigue and diarrhoea but you will be given loperamide to help with this if needed and also a cream to use on the area to prevent it getting sore. Ive attached a link to a thread that we started which you might like to take a look at and if you type chemoradiotherapy or similar in the search box at the top of the screen then it will bring up previous posts.

    https://community.macmillan.org.uk/cancer_types/bowel-colon-rectum-cancer-forum/f/new-here-say-hello/227598/radiotherapy-care-top-tips

    Hope this helps and feel free to ask if there’s anything that you’re worried about?

    Take care

    Karen x

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
  • Thanks for taking the time to respond.  This is very helpful.  I have a temporary ileostomy which was due to be reversed.  As the recurrence of cancer means I will have my ileostomy for longer, I shouldn't have a diarrhoea problem as everything goes into my bag.  Did the chemo tablets make you sick or just fee, sick?

  • I don’t seem to remember them making me feel sick as they are quite a low dosage and not as strong as you’d have if you were on follow up chemo. I think I was given some antisickness tablets to take an hour beforehand and then for a couple of days afterwards? I remember leaving the hospital with a bag of stuff which included the loperamide and 2 boxes of diarolyte, a body wash and a cream to use on the area being treated.

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
  • Thanks again.  Really helpful.