A fistula is an abnormal opening that connects two or more organs or spaces inside or outside the body. For example, a fistula can develop between the bowel and the bladder, or between the bowel and the skin.
Cancer fistulas are rare. They are more common in the pelvic area (lower tummy between your hips) but can develop in other parts of the body.
They can be caused by cancer treatment, and may take many months or years to develop. Less commonly, they are caused by cancer growing into an area of the body. Some conditions or treatments unrelated to cancer can also cause a fistula.
A fistula can be difficult to cope with. The symptoms may sometimes involve body fluids leaking into other areas of the body. Your specialist nurse and doctor will explain the best ways to treat or manage the symptoms of the fistula.