CancerCare Coping Kit

Stoma Care & Support

Stoma Care & Support

Stoma post

What is a Colostomy?

If a patient has a colostomy or ileostomy operation as part of treatment, the end of the bowel is brought out into an opening on the abdomen. The opening is referred to as a stoma.

Some people have a temporary colostomy (an artificial opening into the colon), made during their treatment for bowel cancer. The colostomy is closed a few months later when the bowel has fully healed.

Some people have a permanent colostomy or ileostomy (artificial opening into the ilium or small bowel).

How CANSA Can Help Stoma Patients

It can take a while to get used to dealing with a stoma, so it is important to seek support.

CANSA offers pre- and post-operative counselling, as well as support groups via our stoma clinics and specially trained nursing staff. Incontinence advice is given to patients & families and they are empowered with coping skills to deal with living with a stoma day-to-day.

Purchase Stoma Products

Stoma bags and linen savers can be purchased at reduced prices at most local CANSA Care Centres. CANSA provides stock of the biggest stoma brands and guarantees the lowest prices, professional assistance and speedy delivery.

NB: Where a CANSA Care Centre is not equipped to provide the above-mentioned service, patients will be referred to reliable service providers in their local community.

Our CANSA Stoma Clinics may be contacted for advice:

  • CANSA Pretoria Care Centre – Tel: 012 329 3036, address: 32 Lys Street, Rietfontein
  • CANSA Bloemfontein Care Centre – Tel: 051 444 2580, address: 88 Melville Drive, Brandwag, Bloemfontein
  • CANSA Cape Metro Care Centre – Tel: 021 689 5347, address: 37A Main Road, Mowbray

Stoma Care postStoma Care

The colostomy bag is designed to stick onto the abdomen where it collects the faeces and flatus from the stoma. It is waterproof so one can wear it while showering or bathing.

Most colostomy bags have several special features including a filter – which works by releasing flatus so the bag does not inflate (which is called ‘ballooning’).

The filter also has a deodorising action to make sure there is no smell, which is one of the things people worry about the most.

Management of Colostomy

Swimming and Bathing:

  • Leave pouch on while swimming
  • Soap / water will not enter stoma, but interfere with skin barrier / adhesiveness to skin
  • Empty pouch regularly

Clothing / Travelling / Sport / Exercise:

  • Avoid clothing that is too tight
  • Avoid rough contact sport / heavy lifting – this can precipitate hernias
  • Heat / sweat / moisture reduces wear time of pouch

Diet / Nutrition:

Find more helpful information in our Stoma & Stoma Care Fact Sheet…

Queries CANSA

Contact your local CANSA Care Centre for support and find additional resources for cancer Survivors (anyone who has heard the words ‘you have cancer’).


Do you have a question?