Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

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Side effects after radiotherapy for rectal cancer are driving me nuts

Hi, first post on this site. Have tried to not come on lots so I don’t get scared.
I am 44 with a tumour in my rectum and have had my radiotherapy which ended 11 days ago and I swear the tumour feels bigger. I have never been to the loo so much, not left the house as feel immobile and scared of just needing the loo.
I start chemo a week today which is making me anxious as there will be more side effects… I don’t think I can bare the toilet anymore. I am strong and have a good support at home but I feel so lonely with this awful urgency for the loo all the time.
I originally was told this was piles until I had a camera and then was told umm it’s a tumour 😢😢😢


Hi there @mellove .. very common after radio finishes to have a couple of weeks where it’s like this. Try not to worry too much. It should settle down shortly and if it doesn’t, tell your team. Good luck with the chemo - blasting the alien away ! :x::x::x: Annie :x::x:


Welcome to the forum @mellove.
Sorry to hear of your diagnosis.
I haven’t had radiotherapy but I can relate to the feeling of being tied to he house and loo. It can really get you down.
Have you spoke to your team for advice on managing the urgency. I am unfamiliar with the advice post radiotherapy.

There is an online Bowel Cancer UK event today and a session on managing bowel function. I am sure it will be very informative and worth joining.

I really hope things settle for you soon. Best wishes for the chemotherapy.
Jane :x::x:


Hello @mellove I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time. I had RT in June, and I had awful stomach cramps and what almost felt like contractions in my back passage - this also involved me going to the loo umpteen times an hour.

I think I ended up with a bit of a backlog of poo - so I found once that settled, so did my symptoms....

It did get better.

Regarding chemo, I had the infusion on day one, and oral until day 15. Yes my bowels sometimes had their own agenda - but it was manageable.

I know it's easier said than done, but try not to look to far into the future, try to concentrate on that day.

My RT & chemo worked, and was able to have my major surger in November.

Best of luck to you!

Liz Blakelands

@mellove Welcome to the forum and I hope you find it support and informative. I haven't had radiotherapy but I know that it can cause urgency until thinks settle back down.

The thought of having chemo is scary and the list of possible side effects is daunting but some people sail through it, some get a few side effects and no-one gets them all. While on chemo you have a very dedicated and experienced team looking after you and the chemo can be adjusted if needs be.

While having treatment try to just deal with today, listen to your body and be kind to yourself.

Good luck
Liz :x::x:


Radiotherapy can be active up to 8 weeks, so not unusual to have residual side effects.


So understand your comments
You can be surrounded by million people in a room but you can actually be the most loneliest person in room
It’s a rollercoaster isn’t it?? I have many times of feeling so on top of this journey and then I fall into this black lonely hole
I remember once going for walk late at night and I look back now and realised how low I was st this time so I totally understand your feelings- you are doing amazing so keep going on this journey :x::x: