Tips on managing the impact of altered bowel function

Thursday 23rd July 2020

Treatment for pelvic cancers can cause numerous gastrointestinal symptoms. Many patients will experience altered bowel function or other late effects, and often find them extremely concerning, as the symptoms experienced can mirror some of those which led to their diagnosis. Managing the effects of an altered bowel function can be a challenge and it’s important to reassure patients that in the long-term these effects often settle.

GatewayC’s ‘Colorectal Cancer – Long-Term Complications’ course aims to provide information on supporting patients living with the late effects of cancer treatment. The course includes a full interview exploring how to monitor and improve the impact of an altered bowel function with Colorectal Clinical Nurse Specialist, Helen Ashby.

4 trigger questions to monitor the impact on the patient’s life include:

  • Are you woken at night to have a bowel movement?
  • Do you need to rush to the toilet to have a bowel movement?
  • Do you ever have bowel leakage, soiling or a loss of control over your bowels?
  • Do you have any bowel symptoms preventing you from living a full life?

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