Colorectal Cancer

Understanding the Connection with Ostomies

Understanding Colorectal Cancer

What is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a form of cancer that affects the colon and rectum, part of the large intestine. It is a significant health concern globally and one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths.

Statistics and Risk Factors
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women. Risk factors include age (most common in people over 50), a family history of CRC, certain genetic disorders, a diet high in red and processed meats, and lifestyle factors such as physical inactivity, obesity, smoking, and heavy alcohol use.

Symptoms and Detection
Early stages of colorectal cancer often present no symptoms. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include changes in bowel habits, blood in the stool, abdominal discomfort, and weight loss. Regular screening, such as colonoscopies, is crucial for early detection, especially for those at higher risk.

The Connection with Ostomies

Ostomies as a Treatment Option
For many individuals diagnosed with colorectal cancer, surgery is a necessary part of treatment. This surgery may involve the removal of part or all of the colon or rectum and can result in the creation of an ostomy.

What is an Ostomy?
An ostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an opening (stoma) on the abdomen to allow waste to exit the body into a specially designed pouch. Ostomies can be temporary or permanent, depending on the extent of the disease and the type of surgery performed.

Types of Ostomies

  • Colostomy: Created when part of the colon or rectum is removed.
  • Ileostomy: Formed when the entire colon is removed, and the ileum is used to create the stoma.

Life After Ostomy Surgery

Adjustment and Support
Adapting to life with an ostomy after colorectal cancer surgery can be challenging but manageable with the right support and resources. Ostomy Canada Society offers guidance, peer support, and educational materials to help individuals navigate this new phase of life.

Quality of Life
Many individuals with an ostomy lead full, active lives. With proper care and management, an ostomy can significantly improve the quality of life, especially for those who have suffered from painful symptoms or complications of colorectal cancer.

Advancements in Care
Continuous advancements in ostomy care and technology have made living with an ostomy more manageable than ever before. Proper education on ostomy management is key to ensuring a smooth transition and successful long-term outcome.

Spreading Awareness and Advocacy

Awareness and Education
Raising awareness about colorectal cancer and the realities of living with an ostomy is essential. Through education, we can dispel myths, reduce stigma, and advocate for better care and resources for those affected.

Advocacy for Better Healthcare
Ostomy Canada Society is committed to advocating for improved healthcare policies and support systems for individuals living with an ostomy due to colorectal cancer.


Through understanding, support, and advocacy, we aim to empower those affected by colorectal cancer and ostomies.