Sometimes, people who have had pelvic radiotherapy have changes in the way their bowel works. For some people, these changes start during treatment and don’t get better. But for others, the changes may develop months or years after treatment.
The bowel is part of the digestive system. It is made up of the small bowel and the large bowel. The small bowel absorbs nutrients from the food we eat. It then passes the liquid waste into the large bowel (colon and rectum). The colon absorbs water from the waste before passing the more solid waste (faeces or stool) into the rectum. The stool is held in the rectum until it’s ready to be passed through the opening to the outside of the body (anus).