5 day radiotherapy side effects

Hi everyone

I have recently been diagnosed with rectal cancer ( on top of my stg 4 melanoma) I’ve just had 5 day intensive radiotherapy. The last one 10  days ago.

I have read so much about side effects that I’m lost! I have frequent diarrhoea/mucus that mean very urgent trips to the loo, not always successfully I might add!.

does anyone have any experience of this treatment and on average how long do these side effects last. I’m relatively healthy otherwise and active.

many thanks


  • .Hi Lesley.I’ve attached a link to the Macmillan page about radiotherapy which seems to say anything from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Have you spoken to your Support nurse about it?


    If you want to type ‘5 days radiotherapy’ in the search box at the top of the page then it brings up a few previous posts where people have had similar issues ranging from 2 -6 weeks

    Hope this helps

    Karen x

  • Hi Karen

    thank you the link has given some useful info. I haven’t spoken to anyone yet as it’s only 10 days since treatment finished, but I will now.


  • Hi I had the 5 day radiotherapy 5 weeks ago. I had a bit of mucus,traces of blood and some urgency towards the end of the first week, not too bad until the second week when I had an horrific 400 mile motorway journey after a family visit  I had explosive diarrhea and had to stop at every motorway services we passed. It would be funny if it wasn't so gruesome. I had to clean the cubicle after each visit and change 'nappies'. It lasted a couple of days and because it started in a Saturday and went on through a local holiday I couldn't get in touch with the nurse. I couldn't eat and even drinking rehydrate set me off , Eventually it stopped and I've been fine since  Still a bit of mucus and blood and occasional urgency but no exploding.. I wanted to know if I could take immodium. Eventually I managed to contact the cancer helpline and the Macmillan nurse , The helpline said I definitely shouldn't but the Macmillan nurse emailed me 5 minutes later to say it was ok ???so I'm still not sure but luckily I haven't needed to.. So my bad side effects lasted about a week.

    Hope this helps


  • Thank you so much, that’s reassuring. I had the explosions too and eating anything set it off. I could hear the gurgling straight away. Thank goodness that has now passed and like you just the occasional urgency. My radiotherapy consultant said tontake Imodium and that has really helped. 

    thank you again