News from Illinois CancerCare

Improving Bowel Function in Rectal Cancer Survivors

Altering Intake and Managing Symptoms for Rectal Cancer Survivors


There are over 1.4 million people living with a history of colorectal cancer in the U.S. Over 25% of colorectal cancer survivors struggle with moderate to severe bowel dysfunction. Learning better ways to manage bowel dysfunction is an important focus in rectal cancer research. Bowel dysfunction can result in symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, loss of bowel control, gas, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, etc. The purpose of this trial is to determine if bowel dysfunction and symptoms improve with guidance from a health coach on how to manage your diet or healthy living.


  • Completed baseline questionnaires
  • Record your diet and bowel symptoms for 3 days
  • Complete a dietary assessment over the telephone
  • If stage one is successfully completed, you will be randomly assigned to either receiving coaching on managing your diet or healthy living
  • You will be asked to be available for 10 telephone coaching calls for the first 4 months
  • You will then be asked to fill out questionnaires 2 more times, at 4 and 6 month time points
  • Participants assigned to the diet intervention group will be asked to modify their food and beverage intake

Download PDF

To learn more about this clinical trial, contact your Illinois CancerCare research team!

Research team member:
Hannah Shearburn | 309.243.3603