Lifespan Cancer Institute


Constipation is when bowel movements become less frequent and stool becomes hard, dry and difficult to pass. Constipation may be associated with nausea, bloating and cramping. Difficulty moving your bowels may cause pain in your abdomen and pressure in your rectum. Constipation may lead to rectal bleeding. Certain chemotherapy drugs and pain medications can cause constipation.

What to do:

  • Adjust your diet based on your needs.
  • Be active.
  • Remember that increased fiber in your diet means you need more fluids.
  • Drink 8 - 12 glasses of fluids per day.
  • Notify your doctor or nurse if you have constipation lasting more than two days.
  • Enemas should be avoided. Check with your doctor or nurse before using.
  • Take stool softeners or laxatives if recommended by your doctor or nurse.