About the bowel

The bowel is the part of the digestive system that goes from the stomach to the back passage (anus). It is a hollow tube.

A normal bowel habit

A very wide range of bowel habits are considered normal. You might wonder how often you should go to the toilet but there’s no right or wrong answer.

Talking about bowel problems

Doctors or nurses may ask you to describe your bowel habits and what your poo (stool) looks like. This helps with your diagnosis.

Types of bowel problems in people with cancer

The two most common problems are diarrhoea constipation. But people with cancer might also have problems with bowel blockages, passing wind or having a colostomy or ileostomy.

Resources and support

There are lots of organisations, support groups and helpful books to help you cope with bowel problems caused by cancer and its treatment.

Information and help