I was diagnosed with Stage I anal cancer in March. Don't have to do chemo. So far I've had four radiation treatments out of 28.
Here's my question: The radiation oncologist wants to examen my genitals and the skin around my anus every Wednesday. I knew he would be looking at my skin, but I thought that meant the skin on my hips, belly and lower back. On Day 2, minutes before my turn on the radiation machine, he made clear which skin he had been talking about. So I let him know that after just one day of radiation I was fine, that I would certainly let him and his staff know when it gets to the point that I need help. I understand that radiation can cause very serious damage to that part of the body and that preventative healthcare measures are important.
He flipped out. He said he needs a base-line of the color of my genitalia so he'll know when the color changes. I asked if a change in color would require a change in radiation treatment? No. Would there be anything prescribed or special home care recommended based on color change alone? No. I was in tears of frustration, exhaustion, and shame before it was all over. And THEN I did the Day 2 radiation treatment.
When I hired this guy I let him know that I am a survivor of sexual violence, that it is very important that I am given lots of warning about exams and buckets of information about what he needs to do and why, and time to digest it all.
I refused the exam, but next Wednesday's coming up and all this stress can't be good. So I guess I'd like to know if other people had the folds in their vulva probed weekly by thier radiation oncologists. Is this "standard of care?"
I dont have any problem with a needed examination. I have a HUGE problem with an exam bieng forced on me when I don't see a need.
Thank you so much.