Bowel and stomach problems after cancer treatment – can anything be done to help?

Jul 31, 2018

If you’re struggling with ongoing bowel issues following cancer treatment, you’re not alone.

In fact, while it might not be a topic that’s often talked about, bowel and digestive problems after cancer treatment are actually surprisingly common.

Of course, the fact more people than ever are surviving cancer is fantastic – but we understand that disrupted digestive health and bowel symptoms can have a significant impact on your quality of life and overall wellbeing.

Lots of people in this position end up suffering in silence or just ‘putting up’ with their symptoms, as they don’t want to make a fuss or might be under the impression that nothing can be done to help.

However, this is not the case – there are a number of things that can be done. Here, Consultant Gastroenterologist Dr Shameer Mehta explains more:

A common problem

As Dr Shameer Mehta explains, around 50% of people who’ve been treated for pelvic and abdominal cancers experience ongoing symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, rectal bleeding and wind and bloating.

Treatments could make a big difference

Sometimes, radiotherapy in the pelvic and abdominal area can result in scarring within the lining of the bowels, which may cause problems like diarrhoea further down the line, known as ‘Pelvic Radiation Disease’.

Unfortunately, this is often irreversible – however, as Dr Shameer Mehta explains, secondary bowel issues and syndromes can also arise following cancer treatments. One relatively common example is SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), which is a known cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms.

Our team of specialists are able to investigate exactly what’s going on with your bowel symptoms. From here, we can look at the treatment options available, along with lifestyle and dietary advice to better manage those symptoms – and help ensure you can live life to the full again.

Keen to find out how London Gastroenterology Centre could help you? For a private consultation call us on 020 7183 7965 or complete the contact form below.


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