My treatment is a pain in the butt!

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This title is a bit ‘tongue in cheek’ (….did you see what I did there?)  I’m very happy to have had treatments for my stage IV cancer, I can think of far worse scenarios.

When I was first diagnosed, the dreaded word Chemo‘ was discussed.  Actually, Chemo isn’t particularly effective in treating low grade Neuroendocrine Cancer, although I’ve heard of cases where it has made a difference. It’s mainly used in high grade (Grade 3) but also in Grade 2, particularly at the higher end of the grading scale of KI67/Mitotic Count.  I was pleased later when that was dismissed as an option. For some cancer patients the word can cause concern and anxiety. 

Some of my treatments ended up being a pain in the butt both literally and metaphorically.

Lanreotide (Somatuline Autogel)

This is currently my mainstay treatment and I look forward to it once every 4 weeks.  It is injected ‘deep subcutaneous’ in the upper outer quadrant of the buttock.

Prior to my diagnosis, I was a tad squeamish when it came to injections, even the smallest would make me cringe and I couldn’t bear to watch any needle pierce my flesh! Nowadays, as someone who has had numerous injections and numerous blood tests and scans with contrast, I no longer have a fear of injections. However, the Lanreotide is the biggest injection I’ve ever had.  It’s not so much the length but the bore as the drug has a certain viscosity.  

You can read more about this treatment by clicking here.

Is it a pain in the butt?  Technically yes!  But not really what I would call high or medium pain level, you can feel it go in and you can feel the release of the drug but in the big scheme of things to worry about, this is not up there! I do know people have awful problems and that needs looking at.  While I have had the occasional less than perfect injection, the vast majority are OK and nothing to write home about.  A minor pain in the butt is having to plan everything around them!  I accept that could improve if I opt for self-inject. 

Check out the differences between Lanreotide and Octreotide here.


I’ve accepted for some time that my surgeries were necessary to debulk my stage IV cancer (debulking is a common approach to slow growing but dangerous tumours).

However, three pains in the butt include:

1.  After my first and biggest surgery, I now take anticoagulants. These are small pills in addition to other pills I take, so no big deal.  As far as I know, there are no side effects.   However, prior to that, I had to take daily injections and that went on for around 4-5 years with over 1500 days of injecting before I moved to oral medication.  My stomach was constantly black and blue and often painful. That was a PAIN in the BUTT!

2. My third surgery was to remove some left axillary lymph nodes.  Since then, I have avoided blood tests and injections (vaccines etc) in my left arm (as recommended by the surgeon).  A minor issue but my right arm does get a beating!  I recently had two vaccines in the same arm which is not ideal but not a huge drama.  The mild lymphedema I had in the first couple of years has disappeared. 

So …..

The blog title is a bit ‘tongue in cheek’ but I’m very happy to have had treatments for my stage IV cancer, I can think of far worse scenarios.


I am not a doctor or any form of medical professional, practitioner or counsellor. None of the information on my website, or linked to my website(s), or conveyed by me on any social media or presentation, should be interpreted as medical advice given or advised by me. 

Neither should any post or comment made by a follower or member of my private group be assumed to be medical advice, even if that person is a healthcare professional.   

Please also note that mention of a clinical service, trial/study or therapy does not constitute an endorsement of that service, trial/study or therapy by Ronny Allan, the information is provided for education and awareness purposes and/or related to Ronny Allan’s own patient experience. This element of the disclaimer includes any complementary medicine, non-prescription over the counter drugs and supplements such as vitamins and minerals.

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