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This question was answered on Thu 13, Jan 2011 11:58am by bobby s, md

swelling/lump on left side between vagina and rectum

Asked by jb (Female; 50; Very overweight. Irritable bladder. Arthritis. High Cholesterol/Bp, but both normal due to tablets. ; Relevant drugs:candesartan cilextiil. symvastyn. meloxicam. something to stop the meloxicam from affecting stomach, can't remember name. ) on Thu 13, Jan 2011 02:12am
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3 days before xmas, i was shivering violently for hours at a time, feeling freezing cold, but body warm to touch. No other symptoms. just as i was feeling better, i felt a slight ache 'down below'...the next day, there was a lot of pain, inside and outside on the left side of my vagina and in my butt. i felt a lump on the outside, under the flesh, between my vagina and rectum on the left. it became excruciating and i was screaming in agony when lowering myself to sit down. once seated, i had to lean sideways. the lump quickly greew very big; i could get my fingers around it. it started in my left thigh crease and extended into my left butt cheek going towards my rectum. it didn't hurt to pee. it wasn't sore inside my vagina, just hurt a little. on xmas day i saw the out of hours doctor at the hospital. he didn't examine me and said it sounded like an abcess, gave me anti biotics (distaclor)and painkillers (tramodol) and sent me home. i was back the following monday, swelling bigger, more pain. different doctor...felt the lump, said it was either abcess or cyst, changed anti biotics, (doxycyclin) told me to see own doctor. before the appointment i had bled a few times, blood was on the left side of my panti liner. saw own doctor that week, he looked inside vagina, said he could see what looked like the head of a boil. gave me different anti biotics (erythromycin). he said it should burst and i would get some discharge. this did not happen. no more blood, nothing. but the pain more or less has gone. but swelling still there, now as big as a large egg. went back to doctors yesterday, he felt the swelling and said it seems like a Bartholian cyst, it's in the right place. he has referred me to the gynae clinic, and given me another lot of erythromycin. i just read up on Bartholian cysts and it does not look or sound like one. they seem to be visible on the outside of the vagina and can be drained or lanced. there is nothing to see down there, only the doctor could see something, inside, using a speculum. there is very little pain now, just uncomfortable and slightly 'stingy' inside, though it doesnt hurt to pee. the swelling is still big, about the size of an elongated egg. please advise. i am worried it's some form of cancer.

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Answer by bobby s, md  on Thu 13, Jan 2011 11:58am:

Your story does not sound like the typical story of cancer. Rather, it sounds like the story of infection/abscess/inflammation. Cancer of the vagina/rectum/anus/perineal soft tissue would not present with such sudden and severe symptoms. Chills, severe pain, and a rapidly enlarging swelling of the vaginal wall, and partial response to antibiotics is suggestive of abscess/cyst.
Please continue to be under the care of a gynecologist. If symptoms persist, then the usual approach would be imaging, ultrasound-guided biopsy or pus aspiration for cytology, culture, and sensitivity and antibiotics (including gram positive and anaerobic coverage).
All the best, and God Bless!

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Comment by jb on Mon 17, Jan 2011 10:22pm: Hi bobby, thank you for your full and informative reply to my question. I found it very reassuring. I also have an appointment with a gynecologist in 3 weeks time. Again, thank you very much. Kind regards, Jane Boor ps; would have rated your answer via the stars you mention, but there are no stars!

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