Hi Ladies
I am halfway through my chemo 3 fec/3 tax and Herceptin and although I’ve followed all the tips to prevent constipation its been really bad since day one. I’ve taken senna pracically everyday since day one, eaten loads of fruit and drumk gallons of water, also lactulose, but most of the time nothing! The result is as a result of all the straining I’ve been left with the most painful piles which are making life hell! The doctor has now prescribed Movicol which lossens things up but again agrivates the piles!
I’ve tried everything to calm them down that I can think of: Anussol(Usless) Lanacane cream, Bongela! and even disolved an Asprin and bathed the area with that, but sitting and walking and even laying down is a nighmare. I am still taking a lot of codine for the discomfort after the operation, but the funny thing is that codine has never caused me constipation before as before my BC diagnosis I was already taking lage amounts due to having Fybromyalgia.
I know painfull piles is a very trivial thing compared to what else we are all going through, but it’s feeling like the straw that broke the camels bsck, so to speak! and making me even more down and irratiable which my poor old husband really doewn’t neen right now.
PLEASE any suggestion? Thank-you all and hope treatmnet is going well for everyone

I’m sorry to hear what a horrible time you’re having with piles and constipation.

I used germaloids and found that very effective. not sure though how different that is from what you’ve tried already.
It sounds like you’re doing all the right things with regard to the constipation but maybe need to get a prescription for something stronger.

Your oncologist might be the best person to ask as constipation will be common problem on an oncology ward - or your chemo nurses.

Lex, just before my BC I used to eat loads of veg and fruit and still got constipated and had piles. To stop the pain and make sure the bits weren’t hanging out and strangulating themselves, after going to the lavatory, I’d fill a plastic jug with as hot a water as I could bear then I’d pour that onto soapy hand and bits and wash them while trying to push everything back in. Then dry carefully with hairdryer. (Or do the same with a hot bath or a using a bidet.)
The weird thing was, that after I lost a stone in weight 12st 8 to 11st 8, the piles disappeared. Since BC and giving up milk and cheese I don’t get constipated the same way.
Also bananas are great.
Sorry about the detail.

Even if you have checked out all meds with the chemo team, it’s possible that the combination is not so good, so go over it with them again. Perhaps a change of painkiller for a time?

You have enough pain and discomfort without this, so it’s hardly trivial.

Hi Lexie

What a nightmare isn’t it. You have my sympathy.

I tried loads of stuff to get me ‘going’ but none of it worked until a friend told me about Ortisan Fruit Cubes from the herbalist. They are a bit pricey but have been so worth it for me. They are all natural stuff like figs and tamarinds pressed into a cube. Not unpleasant taste and they’ve worked wonders for me. I take it before I go to bed and in the morning ‘Eureka’. I find now that I only have to take half of one now and again.

Hope you get sorted soon. Piles and constipation are certainly not trivial. Best of luck

Jan xxx

Thanks so much everyone. I shall try everything xxxxx

Also a simple suggestion, might work for you, keep a couple of telephone directories or large book in the loo, to put under your feet. It helps to have your knees higher than your hip when you try and go.
all the best Wizz

Hi I too suffered terribly when I was going through chemo with constipation and piles but I also got Dirahera(sp?) too. It is very unpleasent and like you say quite dibilitating. I found that Movical which you now take does the trick in ‘keeping them soft’ sorry for the detail - I used to take movical two days before my chemo started as - then took it for around 3/4 days - then stopped as I got usually got diarahera - I became quite apt at knowing when to stop and start. With my Piles I just use Germoloid cream and suposetries. They worked for me very well and kept them at bay and stopped them swelling and hurting - I used Germoloid cream/suposetries every day after showering and then repeating everytime I went to the loo.

I know how exhausting it was and it used to really get me down at first - but by cycle three I had it 'cracked 'as it were. For me this was the worst Side effect of chemo.
good luck xx

Hi Lexxie303

I’m inclined to agree with Cheryl on this one.

Maybe a different analgesia, codeine is notorious for causing constipation (in some instances it is used to control diarrhoea). Maybe in conjunction with the chemotherapy the codeine is not the best thing for pain relief. Talk to the medics again and tell them just how bad things are.

Good luck.

You have my sympathy - I was reduced to tears several times by constipation during chemo. Try adding linseeds to your diet - but you must drink loads with them as they soak up water in the gut.

finty xx


I used Dulcoease capsules for constipation. They work by making the stools absorb loads of water so that they pass more easily.

For piles I used Anusol cream which shrinks the piles and eases the discomfort.

Hope this helps.


Hi Lexxie, I am going through the same thing as you but I am not on chemo just now. I am using Movicol which is in a sachet and you disolve in water. I find it more pleasant to take than other similar medicines. I am also feeling a bit sick or nauseuos and do not have any appitite…although I will eat something as if I don’t it makes me feel worse. I hope your symptoms improve soon. take care, from Val

Hello, you poor thing, My only time of suffering from piles was after giving birth 36yrs ago but the memory is still very vivid. I did however become very bunged up on FEC, 30mins straining to produce 3 bullets or Maltesers!! My salvation came in the form of glycerin suppositories, relief in under 5mins, and NO side effects whatsoever, of course your poor old bum may be too sore for these, but it you hold the end under the hot tap, it will become very pliable. You can get them straight from the shelves in some supermarkets, certainly Morrisons, under £2 last year. Good luck,
Love Mags xx

HI i know its old fashioned but i used to take 2 tspn of Andrews in water and drink it while fizzing done the trick ( and i thought i was having a mini labour in the loo trying to pass what felt like a brick )also if you look at starting pink road of chemo page 2 theres a recipe for" GO "cake with extra GO. hope this helps xJulie

sadly I know exactly how you feel. I remember posting ‘for other people for whom the bathroom is a scary place’. I had piles like bunches of grapes and some very critical days when I felt like going to hospital and asking no begging to be put down or at least made unconscious, such was the pain and trepidation. At the worst point I went into a large pharmacy and asked for everything they had. I was given 2 types of suppositories, one of which anaethesised the whole area. Trouble was it was extremely hard to insert and kept popping out again when they were bad. I found dulcoease good but only if taken before the trouble started. I had the bath ready and every time after I had been, just sat in it and gritted my teeth until it passed. I never found any food triggered a motion once in the terrible state but eating a huge roast dinner and apple crumble did, so maybe weight of food and gravity help. Do make sure you walk about as lying down slows it. Also rocking from the hips can start the muscle waves so if it all stops half way,tilt forward and rock, that came from a bowel doc and works.Also when you do go lean forward to get less restriction in the angle of your tubes.
When i got myself out of the complete sieze up, I made sure it never happened again. As soon as I did not go any day I took senna that night and continued until I went, increasing the dose if necessary.I also kept a diary and worked out which day it started and took dulcoease and the senna the day before that. It worked for me. Sorry for being so graphic but haven’t had a good poo chat for ages, thankfully. I did get out of the cement bowel stage but it took a while.
Good luck everyone and take action early
Lily x

For constipation I found that senna pods (in their natural form) are brilliant. You can only get them from some health food shops. You can put them in boiling water and drink it or I found putting a few in my tea in the mornings worked wonders. They don’t really taste of anything but they seem to work much better than senna tablets.
As for piles, I have suffered a few times and I took ibuprofen as they are supposed to reduce swelling and used anusol and hot baths. Hope you feel better soon

Hi Lexxi303,
I was recommended Anosul cream, it helps to shrink the piles, choose the one that has anaesthetic in it.
The pain from piles is horrendous, I’m sorry if this a little bit tooo much advice; but pushing them back up will also help ease the pain.
Big hugs, Stella

Oooohhhh, i realy do feel for you, i use to suffer with piles when i was pregnant too, none of the over the counter stuff worked for me, but my midwife at the time recommended an old fashioned remedy of hers it was “cake glycerin” ,i though she was nuts at the time lol,but it realy did work! it shrinks the piles down realy quickly (within a day or two),now if i ever suffer with them that is all i use.
Hope you get some relief realy soon as piles can be realy painfull sometimes.
Good luck and all the best

Dear Ladies
How wonderfull you all are with all this advice. I love all the graphic deatails, nice to be able to laugh about it! I have made notes about everything, although after suffering the same thing after the first fec I started taking senna/lactulose ect before the day of the next treatmnet in the hope I’d stop it before it started, but no such luck! Anyway the movical has turned everything to slush (sorry) although it took a couple of days of double dosing, so now I just have to find out what works to calm the piles down. The advice on how to sit on the lo and moving around more made great sense.
Thanks so much every one. You are all Angels. I hope you are all having good days. xxxx

I had piles during my pregnancies many years ago (youngest now 28). They returned after my mx, it seems that the anti sickness meds makes you constipated and that started the piles again. The chemo made it worse. I found Fybogel kinder that movicol. Also though washing after using the loo especially with just water using the shower with 1st the water as hot as is comfortable then turn the water to cold. This seems to help the pain and the constant itching. I have nearly finished my 18 herceptin (3 to go) and the herceptin gives me diarrhoea for about 2 out of the 3 weeks so no relief yet from the pesky piles. I keep Germoloid cream for the really bad days, I find this more effective than anusol as it has a local anaesthetic only drawback is has a strong germaline smell.

I try not to take anything for the diarrhoea now as the more meda I take I seem to go from one extreme to the other. I watch what I eat during my bad weeks and try to avoid foods that might give me wind as that seems to make it worse.

I have really sympathy as it is really uncomfortable