Bowel cancer treatment and side effects

You can find lots of useful information about bowel cancer treatment on our website. You can also get information and support from our Ask the nurse service.


Post Radio bowel spasms and cramps

Hi, this is my first post here and I’m looking for any advice or comfort really on my current symptoms. I’m on day 14 post radiotherapy on my rectal tumour assuming you count the first day of treatment as day 1!?

About three days ago I started with immense cramping and spasms when I need to go to the loo or even pass wind. I can only compare it to severe contraction pain which results in me passing approximately a teaspoon of liquid. Barely anything solid is passing at the moment.

I am eating 2-3 small meals a day and drinking plenty of water. I have had yoghurt and today I’ve introduced kimchi into my diet to try and get some healthy bacteria in. I have a telephone call with the oncologist tomorrow to complete the radio treatment so I assume I can check these symptoms then.

It is becoming really debilitating as I can’t leave the house without ensuring my bowel is empty and calm. Which is mostly a guessing game. When I do need to go, the pain is so much that I’m almost passing out.

I called my gp on Friday and they just recommended yoghurt and co codamol. They’re not really helping.

I’m stage four with lung metastasis. My radio was just five days and I am starting chemo soon.

Please would rather people didn’t comment about the diagnosis itself as I haven’t come to terms with the severity of it yet. I’m walking around with healing crystals in my bra, sniffing frankincense and hoping for the best. That’s all I’ve got right now.

Any comfort, ideas or support gratefully received.



Good morning @jo-ann, a very warm welcome to the forum although I am so sorry to read about your current symptoms.

I haven’t personally had radiotherapy, but there have been a lot of posts in the past about this post-treatment pain that can get worse before it gets better. There is a link below that may be of help.

I totally respect that you are not ready yet to talk about your diagnosis, I think this resonates with all of us. The utter shock and trying to process the diagnosis is familiar and exhausting.

I am going to say very briefly though that I was diagnosed at stage four, seven and a half years ago and lead a modified but near normal life. There are lots of us who live with this stage of cancer.

Sending you lots of love and hope you find some useful advice on the forum. Please stay in touch, Kim :x::x::x:


Thank you for your message Kim. You have made me feel much better this morning.

I will take a look at the link you provided. I’m new to the forum and so any guidance is much appreciated.


@jo-ann yes and a lucky 🍀 in my bag with you 💯 !!! There are a couple of things you can ask your nurse about if you have one? If not your GP should know about these too. I used zerobase for the stinging and used this from the getgo after my radiotherapy and pretty much used it constantly! Had it on - all the time! I had 5 weeks radio! Hopefully this will ease off soon for you -I wonder if lactulose would help too maybe ask your team about anything else they may suggest? It’s a shock yes being diagnosed stage 4 but there are plenty of us on the forum and ask anything you like as I did and still do!! :x::x::x:


Thank you :x::x: