A colostomy may be carried out following treatment for a number of different health conditions; the most common conditions are outline below:
Bowel Cancer and Colon Cancer
What is bowel cancer?
Cancer is an illness which is caused as a result of the abnormal reproduction process of the body’s cells. Usually cancer is characterised by the formation of tumours, which may malignant or benign. Bowel cancer is usually characterised by the development of a tumour in the large bowel; cancers which develop in the small bowel are much less common.
What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer is characterised by the development of a tumour in the colon.
Bowel cancer is the third most common form of cancer in the U.K, with over 30,000 people affected each year. People over the age of 60 are at most risk of developing bowel cancer. Survival rates are dependent on individual cases but 50% of people who are diagnosed with bowel cancer live for at least 5 years after their diagnosis.
Causes of bowel and colon cancer
There is no single cause of bowel cancer; however there are several factors which may contribute to its development; these include having an unhealthy diet, drinking heavily, family history and having a pre-existing bowel condition.
Symptoms of bowel and colon cancer
Common symptoms of bowel cancer include an unexplained decrease in body weight, blood in the faeces, prolonged diarrhoea or constipation and abdominal pains. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above you should consult your GP as quickly as possible.
Treating bowel and colon cancer
The treatment for bowel cancer depends on the nature and severity of the individual case; however the most common treatments involve surgically removing the tumour and undergoing courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy; some cases will not require further treatment after the removal of the tumour, while others may need radiotherapy and perhaps further surgery. The NHS screening programme was launched in 2006 to detect early signs of bowel cancer in people over the age of 60.
Preventing bowel and colon cancer
It is impossible to prevent bowel or colon cancer but there are steps you can take to reduce the possibility of developing the disease; these include eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, which is high in fibre and low in fat. Regular exercise is also beneficial and you should try to refrain from smoking.
Having a colostomy
A colostomy may be fitted as a temporary or permanent measure after surgery in a patient with bowel or colon cancer; this may allow time for the bowel to heal or provide a long-term solution if a large area of the bowel or colon has been removed. If the colostomy is temporary, it will be removed after a period of time and the digestive process will return to normal.