Bladder and bowel problems

Bladder sensation or control may change after surgery or radiotherapy.  Some people may feel they need to pass urine more often, or need to go in a hurry.  Others may pass a little bit of urine when they laugh, cough, sneeze or lift things.  Blood vessels in the bowel and bladder can become more fragile after radiotherapy, and traces of blood may be seen in the urine (or in bowel movements).  You should tell your treatment team if this happens.

You can talk to your doctor about seeing a continence nurse or physiotherapist if you are having problems with bladder control. 

After surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, some people have changed bowel habits, including constipation, where bowel movements are less frequent, painful or hard to pass and diarrhoea, with frequent bowel movements that are soft, loose or watery.

You should let your doctor know if you have any bowel problems.    You may be able to make some simple changes in lifestyle to improve bowel problems, such as diet or light exercise or your doctor may recommend some medication. 

Living with cancer has more information about bladder and bowel problems.