This chapter addresses concepts used as a foundation for bowel management in patients with cancer. Because cancer treatment can be very noxious and disrupt bowel function, a preventive approach is an important part of bowel management for patients with cancer. The 6 steps to good bowel management are assessment and diagnosis of bowel dysfunction, normalization of the bowel, establishment of expectations for bowel-movement frequency, development of a bowel management program, assessment of outcomes, and adjustment of the bowel management program through problem-solving. New and innovative approaches to management of bowel dysfunction covered in this chapter are (1) differentiation between low and high impactions in the treatment of impactions; (2) administration of milk-and-molasses enemas; (3) use of a bowel training program for patients with constipation or diarrhea or frequent stooling; and (4) use of a proven, nontraditional fiber regimen for patients with frequent stooling after colorectal surgery. Opiate-induced constipation may be effectively prevented using senna and docusate sodium. Gastrointestinal gas may be decreased through controlling the intake of certain foods. Diarrhea in patients with cancer may have various noncancer causes, including impaction, lactose intolerance, food allergies, and medication. The cause of diarrhea, not the symptom, must be treated for optimal relief. New and innovative approaches, including strengthening the anal sphincter, slowing the gastrointestinal tract, and training the bowel, help patients achieve better outcomes. Involving the patient as a partner in bowel management is crucial because many problems are encountered outside the immediate supervision of the health care team.
Was this article helpful?
Learning About 10 Ways Fight Off Cancer Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life The Best Tips On How To Keep This Killer At Bay Discovering that you or a loved one has cancer can be utterly terrifying. All the same, once you comprehend the causes of cancer and learn how to reverse those causes, you or your loved one may have more than a fighting chance of beating out cancer.