Megan was diagnosed with HPV related anal cancer in February 2021. In March, she was treated with the Radixact® System in conjunction with two 96-hour infusions of chemotherapy, Mitomycin and 5FU (Fluorouracil) at the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin (“MCW”) Clinical Cancer Center.
During the six-week course of treatment, Megan reported that the first three weeks were fine with minimal GI symptoms. Then, around the third into the fourth week, the symptoms became very uncomfortable. She faced limited movement, and experienced exhaustion and a lot of skin damage, which the doctors and the team of nurses were very good at helping her manage.
Megan initially thought she had hemorrhoids and did not seek treatment for a long time. But finally, she consulted a new primary care doctor who immediately referred Megan to a colorectal surgeon. Quickly after, the pathology confirmed that her anal cancer was related to HPV (human papillomavirus).
Megan has decided to share her story as she wants people to know that most humans come into contact with HPV and there is no shame about it. It is listed as the most common sexually transmitted infection. She also wants people to know that HPV related cancer is preventable with a vaccination. In order to educate people in her community and friends, Megan quickly formed Meggs Fight online. She is also a peer-to-peer mentor for the Anal Cancer Foundation for newly diagnosed anal cancer patients and has done some work with the HPV Cancers Alliance online, some posting and telling her story, to get the word out about HPV cancers being preventable.
Today Megan says that she feels amazing. She enjoys working out every day, hiking and being outside, and spending time with her family.
Megan received treatment with the — System for anal cancer.
Testimonials represent the genuine experience of the individuals interviewed.
No compensation was provided for their testimonial. Individual results may vary.
Most radiation side effects are minimal and last only a short time. Side effects can, however, be severe. Possible short-term side effects could include: diarrhea and pain while going to the bathroom; skin changes in areas being treated; anal irritation and pain (radiation proctitis); discomfort during bowel movements; vagina irritation in women; fatigue; nausea; low blood cell counts. Long-term side effects could include: scar tissue that can keep the anal sphincter muscle from working as it should; fractures of the pelvis or hip; rectal bleeding and pain; infertility; vaginal dryness; arrowing or shortening of the vagina (stenosis), which can make sex painful; swelling in the genitals and legs (lymphedema); sexual dysfunction.
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