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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I improve healing after rectal cancer surgery?

    Diagnosed with rectal cancer, I had chemo + radiotherapy. I then had surgery to remove cancer at lower rectum. I was given a permanent colostomy. I then had more chemotherapy as the cancer had spread to surrounding lymph nodes. 2 years on I am cancer free and am coping well except for pain around my wound where my anus was closed up during the surgery. This wound has not healed. I get the pain about every 2 months, lasting for about 2 weeks. I also have yellow discharge. I have had daily sessions for 6 weeks of hyperbaric oxygen treatment but it is now 6 weeks later and the exact pain has returned around my whole anal area and spreading to my vagina. Is there anything that can be done to heal this wound and permenantly keep me pain free?
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    Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately it is difficult for us to answer this question as these conditions are very different for each individual, dependent upon both the location of the surgery & the treatment you have been provided with.

    Certainly hyperbaric treatment is one of the highly recommended forms of treatment for rectal surgery in helping to minimise scarring & tissue damage resulting from radiotherapy to the area.

    However, the only people who can really help answer this question is your gastroenterologist, your surgeon and the radiologist involved with your treatment.

    You should request an appointment with your doctor to discuss your current concerns & what measures may need to be taken for further healing to the area.

    I hope this advice will help you & your discomfort subsides sooner rather than later.

    Kind regards
    TammyBowel Cancer Australia Nurse Adviser

    Please Note: The information provided by Bowel Cancer Australia’s Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory Services is intended for Australian residents as a reference guide only.  It is not a substitute for independent professional advice and is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or disorder.
    If you believe your symptoms are consistent with those of bowel cancer or a digestive illness, please consult your doctor.
    Bowel Cancer Australia, its directors, officers or medical professionals shall not be liable to any person, company or any other body for any loss, direct or indirect or consequential on whatsoever account for any omission or negligent misstatement.

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