Q. My father has severe diarrhea after chemotherapy for colon cancer. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Rakesh Mittal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Aug 01, 2017

Hello doctor,

My 43 years old father has colon cancer. He had undergone hemicolectomy laparoscopic surgery, and he is currently undergoing chemotherapy with Xelox (Oxaliplatin and Capecitabine). I am here to ask you about the side effects of chemo that my father is experiencing from the first cycle. The first cycle was hard, as he had to deal with some gas problems. Now in this second cycle, he is having extreme diarrhea. My questions are as follow.

My father was given Loperamide, Rabeloc 20, Folic acid tablets, and ORS to control diarrhea. But diarrhea is still there, and frequency is 4 to 5 times a day. The stool is complete watery. Also, he is not on Capecitabine tablets. It is a rest week of the second cycle. If the diet is a concern, then we are giving diarrhea strict food like banana, rice, potatoes, etc. Why is diarrhea not getting well? He is also having pain between the two rib cages, which is like the pain in gastritis. Is it possible that he could have gastritis?

He is losing weight drastically. Before everything, his weight was 68 kg. But after surgery, it was only 58 kg. And after the first cycle of chemo, it was 55 kg. This decreasing trend is very worrisome, which also affects his mental strength. How to deal with it? Can he pause chemo for a while? He is losing body strength and weight. I think that his body is not well enough to receive the next cycle. The patient is also experiencing pain at the site of surgery. Is it normal? The surgery was done about two and a half months back.

Dr. Rakesh Mittal

Child Health Medical Oncology Paediatrics


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Diarrhea could be due to surgery or chemotherapy or both. Normally, the patients should not have this much diarrhea. If it remains uncontrolled, you may have to stop chemotherapy for some days.
  • Weight loss is common in this condition. After chemotherapy, he should be fine. As I mentioned, he can stop chemotherapy if diarrhea is not controlled. Pain in the surgical site is common.

For more information consult a medical oncologist online --> https://icliniq.com./ask-a-doctor-online/medical-oncologist

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