Low Rectal Cancer

 Enema's Role In Low Rectal Cancer Bowel Management

"Bowel Management" is often given low rectal cancer survivors as an option to the functional consequences of the treatment for low rectal cancer.  However, the medical community's concept of bowel management focuses on diet and drugs that may influence bowel functions but cannot predictably control the timing of bowel movements.

The only way to predictably empty the colon on command is with the use of a large volume tap water enema once a day.  This option empties the rectum, descending and much of the transverse colon.  The rectum remains empty at all times. For those who have a very fast transit time or have diarrhea, it may be necessary to add medication that will decrease the transit time for stool to travel through the colon.

What is truly amazing is that the role of the daily enema in bowel management is recognized by the medical community for many diseases.  These conditions include spinal cord damage, Hirschsprung's disease, spina bifida, anorectal dysfunction,  multiple dystrophy, colostomy,  habitual constipation and fecal incontinence. Bowel function problems from these diseases and conditions are exactly the same as you may have experienced as the result of your treatment for low rectal cancer.

The medical community recognizes the role of the use of the daily enemas in bowel management. One medical study of the role of a daily enema as a bowel management technique found it to be  93%  successful in dealing with bowel function symptoms. 

The daily enema is currently being "marketed" by hospitals as a option for children who have bowel function problems.  These hospitals include the "International Center for Pediatric Colorectal Cancer Solutions", "Loma Linda University Children's Hospital", "Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center", "Cincinnati Children's" , Denver Children's Hospital, "Schneider Children's Hospital".  It is interesting that the use of the daily enema to deal with a child's bowel functional issues is seldom mentioned as a technique that can be used by an adult to deal with the same issues.

The answer is complicated and may be a combination of the medical community's lack of knowledge of this option, the disconnect between a 3500 year old practice of bowel control, the pharmaceutical approach to bowel control, and the comfort level between the doctor and the survivor discussing the details of a successful enema regime.  For whatever reason, the daily enema seems to be the undiscovered option for dealing with the treatment of low rectal cancer.

One of the leading research articles  of rectal cancer results and treatment makes this rather blunt statement: "Although evacuatory difficulties are  inconvenient, they are easily addressed by the use of enemas, and patients generally remain asymptomatic in the intervals between evacuation." 

The biggest problem about the daily enema concept may be that little effort has been made on developing a technique for efficiently incorporating the daily enema into a normal lifestyle.

Educate Yourself

Managing bowel disorders with rectal irrigation.   A complete study on rectal irrigation

Rectal Irrigation in management of functional bowl disorder    A detailed study of rectal irrigation

Bowel Management for fecal incontinences    An oft repeated study use of enemas for Bowel Management

Bowel Management    Discussion of the use of enema for children

Evaluation of rectal irrigation     Study of the efficiency of rectal irrigation

Long Term Outcome of Transanal Irrigation   Study on the long term effects

Long Term Follow- up on colonic irrigation  Larger study on overall success rate

Managing bowel disorder with rectal irrigation.   A detailed study of rectal irrigation.

Rectal Irrigation - a prospective review.   A study of the use of rectal irrigation

Bowel Management Study Abstract.   An abstract on the use of daily enema for children

Bowel Management Questions    An interesting question and answer article.

Practical Guide to Management   A good summary of options

Rectal Irrigation in management of functional bowl disorder    A detailed study of rectal irrigation

Bowel Management Program Parent's Guide.   A long article about the use of enemas for children

Bowel Management for Pediatrics    An abstract of the benefits for children

Anal Irrigation System.   A brochure of a irrigation system marketed in England

Bowel Management tube    The use of a balloon tip for bowel management

Explore on Goggle with these key words:

Colorectal Cancer, Bowel Function, Enema, Daily Enema, Rectal Irrigation