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Frequent bowel movement as a result from colorectal cancer surgery

Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2003

I underwent colorectal cancer surgery in October of 2002. Because of the size of the tumor and location by the rectal wall, 80% of my storage reservoir had to be removed. I am currently going through chemo therapy and dealing with frequent bowel movements both from a reaction to the chemo and after affects of surgery. I am hoping to get some suggestions from someone in a similar situation as to how they are dealing with this problem?? Thanks for any suggestions you can provide...

Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2003

Eddie: It may be hard to slow you system down
with you still on chemo...Add alot of bulk to
your diet along with Citrucel...Use A&D ointment
for rectal irration and keep a diary of your "very
bad" days and what you eat on those days...After
a time a pattern will begin to form...After 18
months, the loss of 12 of bowel, I have gone from
10-15 trips a day down to 5-10, depending on the

Posts: 86
Joined: Dec 2002

Hello Eddie,
My situation was a replica of yours. The frequency of bowel motions became almost intolerable after about 5 months. My anus was very raw and intensely painful and sensitive. I followed all advice. Imodium helped but not much. What helped most was 2 tablets of paracetamol with codeine, used up to 3 times per day. At night I sometimes added one or two measures of Irish Whiskey to the tablets and this combination was excellent and got me a reasonable few hours sleep. Your doctor may not approve of this combination. Warning; codeine (used to be the only treatment for diarrhoea) can be addictive and so can whiskey. However I was damn glad to have them on quite a few occasions. The latest for a battered colon is a medication called Octreotide which I understand is being used more and more. This is growth hormone and appears to relieve the inflammation caused by the chemo from lips to anus. It has to be given by injection. It appears to be very effective.Your doctor may or may not have heard af this. Mention it to him/her. There is info on the internet.I also used some medication normally used for Ulcerative Colitis which helped but your doctor might not be willing to prescribe this. I suspect that American whiskey might be nearly as good as Irish!! I'm now 20 months post surgery and so far so good. Best of good luck.

Posts: 86
Joined: Dec 2002

Octreotide and sandostatin (see cjh57's message)are the same drug. It seems very effective. Good luck. V.C.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2003

I was first diagnosed in August of 2001, to date I have had 3 surguries, 3 different Chemo's and a run of radiation. Through all of this the frequent bowel movements were both an annoyance as well as life threatening at times. After much trial and error I was put on a maintainace dose of a medication called Lomotil (1 BID) and a sub-q injection (TID) of a medication called Sandostatin. Ask your doctor if either of these may help you and good luck.

Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 2003

This might sound stupid but my Dr recommended and I found that some foods helped me down from 7-8 bowel movements to 4 or so. There is the BRATS diet, Bananas, Rice, Apples/Applesauce/Toast and Soup, during my chemo, these were my new favorite friends, Oatmeal I found quite accidentially if it is as dry as possible can also really keep things hanging together. Otherwise, Immodium AD twice a day (sometimes 3 times but that's not recommended) helped as well. I also periodically take a phosphosoda and fast for a day to give my system a break.

Best Regards,


Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2003

I had my colon removed almost a year ago and I still get frequent bowel movements. I have found that Metamusil and Oatmeal have helped me reduce the amount of movements that I have with my bowel. I have also added Yoga and find that I feel better on the day that I have Yoga. I also want to start adding walking but I am still tired as it is only 6 months since I have finished chemo and I have been told that it takes about 1 to 2 years to get over chemo. Hang in there with the bowel movements as it gets better the further away from the last chemo treatment.

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