Persistent pain in anal cancer survivors

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Anorectal cancers are highly curable malignancies. Combined modality treatment with chemotherapy and radiation has dramatically improved both disease-free and overall survival. Little is known about symptomatic complications of treatment.


Case report based on chart review.


Two patients presented with painful anal lesions that were diagnosed as squamous cell carcinoma of the anus. Despite successful treatment with chemotherapy and radiation, their pain syndromes worsened after treatment with development of a lumbosacral plexopathy that required regular followup, imaging, and pain medications.


Pain syndromes may worsen after successful treatment given with curative intent, and may be a form of treatment toxicity.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

Treatment related lumbosacral plexopathy may be an unrecognized consequence of the successful treatment of anal carcinoma. These symptoms can be controlled with analgesics.

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