Colonic Irrigation

The melanoma cancer has spread to my lower intestine and bowel area so at the moment I’m still having a lot of problems with my bowel in regards to constipation, I do go to the toilet but sometimes it’s only small amounts so I still feel bloated and I get these awful gurgling sound in my abdomen area which can be so loud and embarrassing which prevents me from mixing with people I don’t know. The Doctor suggested a low fibre diet might help which I started 18th May. I had this problem before with sickness and constipation and diarrhoea so was admitted to hospital to help. While I was there, I had senna which didn’t help, I also had powders you mixed with water, lactolose and eventually a couple of enemas which help a little but I still have the bloating and gurgling sounds all the time which is getting me down, friend suggested colonic irrigation, just wanted your advice?

  • Hi Blaine

    Thank you for getting in touch and welcome to the online community. I’m Fiona one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists, on the Macmillan Support Line.

    I can appreciate your concern over all your bowel symptoms. Unfortunately, we can’t recommend whether to have colonic irrigation or not as we are not directly involved in your care. Because colonic irrigation uses a tube with large volumes of water there are risks like perforation of the rectum or bowel and infection. You will need to speak directly to your Clinical Nurse Specialist or Consultant about the risks of having this done with metastatic disease in your lower intestine.

    We would recommend asking your team for further advice and support around these symptoms. They can hopefully work with you to make you more comfortable with a good bowel regime and lessen the bloating and gurgling you are experiencing.

    Best wishes, 


    Cancer Information Nurse Specialist  

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email.