Diarrhea, or loose and watery stool during a bowel movement, can be a side effect of numerous cancer therapies. Causes of diarrhea also include bowel infections, certain medications, anxiety, and certain foods and drinks. Diarrhea can contribute to weight loss, fatigue, dehydration, and loss of nutrients—it can become very serious if not treated and should never be ignored.
The best thing to do to prevent diarrhea is to make dietary changes and keep track of food intake to learn more about what is causing the diarrhea. Be sure to thoroughly clean the rectal area after each bowel movement and inspect for red, scaly, or broken skin. Do not take any over-the-counter medications without first talking to the provider.