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Colostomy Is Not Always Necessary to Treat Colon Cancer

If A Colostomy Is Needed, It Might Only Be Temporary

By

Updated March 08, 2014

Colostomy

A colostomy means that an external bag must be worn on the abdomen to collect waste.

Photo © A.D.A.M.

Some people mistakenly believe that surgery to treat colon cancer always require the creation of a colostomy (the connection of the colon to the skin of the abdomen, allowing for a diversion of stool into an external container or bag. In actuality, a permanent colostomy is usually only necessary when cancer involves the lowest portion of the rectum (closest to the anus). A temporary colostomy (which is then reversed in a few months) may sometimes be used to allow the bowel to heal after surgery to treat colon cancer.

Source:

American Cancer Society. "How Is Colorectal Cancer Treated?" American Cancer Society, Inc. 15 Aug 2013. 7 Mar 2014.

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