Assessing and managing diarrhoea in patients with prostate cancer who undergo pelvic radiotherapy
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Assessing and managing diarrhoea in patients with prostate cancer who undergo pelvic radiotherapy

Shievon Smith Urology Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Medical Oncology, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your knowledge of the gastrointestinal symptoms that patients who undergo pelvic radiotherapy may experience

  • To increase your awareness of the causes and effects of diarrhoea in patients with prostate cancer

  • To support the assessment and management of patients with prostate cancer who develop diarrhoea

Many patients with prostate cancer undergo pelvic radiotherapy, which puts them at risk of radiation-associated side effects during treatment in the days and weeks after treatment, and in the long term. One of the common gastrointestinal symptoms experienced by patients with prostate cancer is diarrhoea, with effects ranging from mild and embarrassing to severe and life-threatening. Diarrhoea in patients with prostate cancer often occurs as a side effect of radiotherapy, but it can also be caused, or compounded, by other factors, including chemotherapy and immunotherapy, infection, concurrent disease, faecal impaction, medicines and diet. This article describes the assessment and initial and long-term management of diarrhoea following pelvic radiotherapy for prostate cancer.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2020.e1555

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

Shievon.Smith@nhs.net

Conflict of interest

None declared

Smith S (2020) Assessing and managing diarrhoea in patients with prostate cancer who undergo pelvic radiotherapy. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2020.e1555

Published online: 06 April 2020

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