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effects of radiation

jane1
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2005

I've had 2 weeks of external radiation and feel constantly uncomfortable. I feel the need to have bowel movements but generally just have some loose stools and no relief. Has anyone found anything that helps with this?

SharonEL's picture
SharonEL
Posts: 21
Joined: Jun 2003

Hi Jane,
I also had problems with my bowels during radiation for vaginal cancer. I recommend that you talk to you Radiation Oncologist. This is a very normal side effect and they have ways of treating it.
Ask them about the "low residue diet." I did this for a long time and it did help. They may also prescribe some anti-diarrhea drugs.
It will be over soon. Good luck,
Sharon

LindaJoy
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2005

I was diagnosed with cervical cancer stage 4a which had spread to my vagina and attached to my bladder - I had a clear pap smear by the way. I completed 6 weeks of external radiation on 31 December 2004 and 5 weeks of chemo. I was told that radiation irritated the bowel and bladder making them sensitive - they did not like having much at all in them and I found if I ate anything I had to go to the toilet. I just learned to live with it during this time never straying far from a ladies room. I did not sleep very well due to having to go to the toilet several times during the night which I found the hardest to cope with. I found it helped to look at the big picture - that treatment would come to an end which it did eventually / that I was a quarter / half / the way through and I am happy to say that bowel and bladder functions have returned to normal. Two and a half weeks later I had internal radiation (Brachy Therapy) where radioactive rods were inserted into my cervix and I had to lay flat on my back for 50 hours - BUT the good news was that I only had to do it for 45 hours but my vagina was packed to push my bowel and bladder away from the radiation - after the packing and rods were removed it did take a couple of weeks for bowel and bladder functions to return to "normal". I am interested to know exactly what treatment you have had compared to me. I am in Outback Australia and had to travel nearly 2000kms to have treatment. I want to know if / how the treatment for cervical cancer is different to Australia.

cin
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2005

I had cervical cancer when i was 31 and had radiation treatments only. That resulted in pretty much constant diarrea but was tolerable because once or twice to the bathroom whould take care of it. But then I had recurrent cervical cancer 20 years later and had to have a pelvic exteneration which involves taking the bladder and vagina and using a large part of my intestines to make a new bladder called the florida pouch. To make a long story short i now have to go to the bathroom between 15 to 30 times a day. This has been going on for nearly three years and they say theres nothing they can do due the amount of the colon they took out.I have never gotten used to it and it completly rules my life. But even so i am glad to be alive and know there are plenty of people out there that have to endure much worse that me every day.

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