Radiation Colitis

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    I finished chemo mid Feb/17, which was followed by radiotherapy to a fist-sized plasmacytoma in my pelvis in March. I’d achieved a complete response and didn’t feel like I could cope with an SCT, so didn’t have one.

    My bowel habit changed from severe constipation that I’d had for about 16 years, to going daily and being somewhat loose, with the occasional accident.

    3 weeks ago yesterday, Saturday, I awoke with severe lower abdominal pain and within a couple of hours was rushed to A&E, where I became incontinent. I was monitored overnight and on the Sunday was told, without an operation I was dead and the chances of surviving an op were 6/10. I’d developed sepsis.

    Sigmoid colon was removed and I’m now a man with 3 bottoms. Released after 10 days, then readmitted after 2 for ongoing infection. Course of IV antibiotics and back home today.

    The general consensus of medical opinion is that the death of the sigmoid colon/sepsis was due to the radiotherapy. I’ve a feeling that the antibiotic, gentomicin, has adversely affected my hearing. I’m hoping that it hasn’t harmed my kidneys, another known side-effect.

    Posted this to inform others but would be interested if others have had similar serious side-effects from RT.


    Regards to all



    Hi Taff

    Sorry to hear that you have had a rough time of it recently.

    I had radiotherapy on my back 4 years ago, no real problems with it I have to say except for the short term suntan and the ever present fatigue. It seemed to do the job of dealing with the plasmacytoma in my spine and the accompanying back pain.

    Hope you have a speedy recovery.

    All the best




    Thanks David,

    I’ve an alternative theory that I haven’t spoken to the docs about yet but will do so in the next few weeks.

    Firstly, I would have thought that RT damage to cells would be noticeable and would be definitive as a diagnosis. Not sure if that’s presently the case.

    Secondly, thanks to this website, I recorded my original diagnosis and ongoing stuff that happened and looking back at my ‘newly diagnosed’ thread, I see that the change in bowel habit and associated unwellness, started after a biopsy on my abdominal mass, which was found to be mostly necrotic tissue/stuff and before RT.

    The biopsy, about 6 samples were taken, went from the bowel through into the mass. I’ve a felling that the biopsy itself caused contamination of the abdominal space, leading to damaged blood vessels to the bowel and the consequent sepsis and bowel death.

    Seems more likely than RT damage, although that is a known side effect.



    Well it turned out that my alternate theory was nonsense as things were in the wrong place for it to have occurred and radiation colitis is the official diagnoses.

    Stoma has been consistently shrinking, to the point where scar tissue had made it retract completely and the stoma was healing up. Had it redone today and am feeling a bit tender t the moment.

    Appetite seems to be coming back and I had toast today for the first time in over 6 months without feeling nauseous. Can’t make up my mind whether I’m getting better or or not. I suppose there’s just ups and downs. Mentally all good, physically, still goosed.

    But I stilll ent ded, which is nice.


    Regards to All


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