HOW WILL I COPE?

A diagnosis of bowel cancer will not only have an adverse effect on your life, but it can also wreak havoc on your self-esteem and body image. Being comfortable in your skin can be difficult to maintain after a diagnosis. It is important to not suppress these emotions. Speak with your GP about seeking help from a professional on help with dealing with them.

When you are diagnosed with bowel cancer, part of the large bowel (colon and rectum) may need to be removed or bypassed if there is a bowel obstruction. This prevents your stool from being passed out of the body through the anus in the usual way. A stoma bag is usually placed over the bowel to collect your stool and wind. The bag will need to be emptied or replaced after each bowel movement. The replacement of the bag may vary. Using a stoma bag could take a while to get used to, and may cause embarrassment. Also, depending on how successful your surgery is, you may have to live with a stoma bag for the rest of your life. It is therefore, imperative that you speak with your GP or stoma nurse to discuss ways of overcoming these life changing challenges.