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Diarrhea after radaition colitis
My husband has undergone surgery for colon cancer and has completed his treatment for chemotheraphy and radiotheraphy.  The treatment was completed end Oct 2007.  From this day till date he has been suffering with diarrhea.  He cannot hold on his stool.  He goes 10 to 15 times to the toilet.  His diarrhea is not loose watery type  but very little like pencil shape  and every time he goes his anus starts burning.  Please advice what is to be done as I cannot see him suffer.


This discussion is related to radiation colitis.
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I underwent colon surgery some years ago (in fact a total colectomy) and indeed one of the consequences is regular loose bowel movements.  Over time I found that these decreased from ~8 per day after the operation to perhaps ~4 per day (and maybe 0-1 per night) at the present time.

To minimise anal soreness I suggest that after each visit to the toilet the last "toilet paper wipe" is with paper dampened with soapy water.  At night try a soothing cream on the anus.  When you are away from home take some very mild baby wipes with you for that "last wipe".

I also found that I could minimise the liquidity of my motions by eating plenty of fibre (pulverised fresh fruit, pulverised vegetables, brown wholemeal bread, add bran to the fruit + veg and also to yoghurt, make a home made muesli - i.e. organic oats + bran soaked in milk to which grated fruit and nuts has been added - the mixture looks like wet cement).   I likened this to a liquid spillage on the kitchen floor to which sawdust was added to mop up the mess and make it more muddy/sludgy rather than liquid.

I hope that these suggestions might help to solidfy your husband's motions and make the visits to the toilet more bearable.

Good luck
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