Recommendations for managing rectal bleeding?

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My husband is currently waiting for radiochemotherapy to start later this month for a low rectal tumour.

He has for some time had rectal bleeding when going to the toilet which is what lead to his investigations and diagnosis in the first place. However he is starting to get more persistent and continuous bleeding during the day including last night a sudden gush of blood when he got up in the night. 

If anyone has had a similar experience, I was hoping you might be able to recommend pads or incontinence pants that worked well for you. I’ve been looking online but not found anything that seems quite right for his needs. He prefers to wear boxer shorts so if there were pads he could use with those I think he would find that most comfortable. Also considering a washable waterproof mat to go on the bed if anyone has any recommendations for that too.

Really hoping his symptoms start to improve once we get going with treatment!


  • Hi  

    So sorry to read of your husbands worsening issues and I hope that he can start treatment soon.

    Not cancer related  but my sister has severe continence issues (bladder and bowel). I've been ordering pads and bed protectors from the Age UK website which seem.reasonably priced and work well. I notice that they also have male pads too. It might be worth a look as a starting point. Sorry that I can't be more help.

    Hopefully you can find a solution that will help ease this particular issue.

    Take care.

  • Hi  You’ve had a great reply from Blue Blue. You could also look online for childrens waterproof bed mats? I’ve also heard people suggest puppy training sheets which can be picked up quite cheaply on the high street but these are disposable. Your colorectal support nurse might have some ideas too.

    I was passing blood when I went to the toilet but this stopped after the tumour shrank during my chemoradiotherapy so hopefully your hubby will have a similar response.

    Take care

    Karen x

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
  • Hello Scientist44,

    The chemoradiotherapy experience for a large rectal tumour involved five weeks of five weekdays, with each session taking less than an hour from arrival to departure (and parking for cancer patients was free!). It involved using the lavatory on arrival then drinking three cups of plain water before being called-in. Apparently the water helps separate the internal organs and makes targeting the tumour more accurate. Given your husband's spontaneous bleeding you might discuss this with the radiotherapy team, or his oncologist, prior to the first visit. They should have experience of this and be able to suggest a temporary remedy to mitigate the leak if it happens during the appointment. It might be that shrinking the tumour reduces the bleeding. The radiotherapy teams works to a tight daily timetable from my experience and will probably issue a programme scheduling all of your husband's appointments - to the minute - beforehand. I don't recall suffering from any significant side effects, although I had a loop ileostomy carried out a few weeks prior because the oncologist said I wouldn't make the 40 mile round trip without suffering a bout of severe diarrhoea mid-journey. Two and a half years later I still have the ileostomy and it works a treat!


  • Thanks Dulac. Always helpful to hear a first hand experience and I’m really hoping his side effects will be as minimal as yours!

    My husband will also being getting 5 weeks of 5 days of week starting on the 24th June. He has his radiation planning appointment tomorrow morning so hopefully he’ll get chance to talk to someone about the bleeding then.

  • Thanks for the tip BlueBlue. I’ll check out their website.