Resources and support
There are lots of organisations, support groups and helpful books to help you cope with bowel problems caused by cancer and its treatment.
Cancer Research UK information and support
Cancer Research UK is the largest cancer research organisation in the world outside the USA. We fund research on all aspects of cancer from its causes to prevention and treatment.
We are committed to producing high quality information for people affected by cancer. As well as looking at the information on this website you can call our nurse freephone helpline on 0808 800 4040. They are available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Or you can send them a question online.
Cancer Chat is our online forum where you can share experiences.
General support and information organisations
For general health advice and information.
NHS 111 gives information if you need fast medical help but it's not a 999 emergency.
NHS Inform gives information about illnesses, treatments and NHS services for people in Scotland.
NHS Helpline: 0800 22 44 88 (Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 6.00pm)
NHS 24 is a confidential telephone health advice and information service for people in Scotland. It provides urgent advice out of hours.
Macmillan Cancer Support is a charity that gives practical, medical and financial support to people with cancer in the UK. Its helpline gives guidance on cancer and advice on benefits. It also publishes booklets about cancer and treatments. Information is available in other languages.
Freephone: 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week, 8am to 8pm)
Contact email form
Specific symptoms organisations
The Bladder and Bowel Community supports people living with bladder and bowel disorders and has a telephone helpline. The service is confidential. They can also give you information about stoma products.
They have a 'Just Can't Wait' card which allows holders access to toilets in shops and when you are out. It's free to order on the website.
17 High Street
Home Delivery Service Sign Up: 0800 031 5406
Home Delivery Service Existing Customers: 0800 031 5407
Bowel Cancer UK raise awareness of bowel cancer and campaign for better treatments and care. They provide information about bowel cancers, including anal and rectal cancers through their website and leaflets and they have an online forum.
Nurse email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 020 7940 1760
This is a UK support group for people with a colostomy. It provides information and support and booklets to anyone who has or is about to have a colostomy.
Free helpline: 0800 328 4257 (24 hrs a day, 7 days a week)
General enquires: 0118 939 1537 (between 09:00 and 17:00)
Salts Healthcare supply a range of different stoma products. You can sign up to receive their newsletter.
Tel: 0121 333 2000
This is a self help organisation that runs a network of groups throughout the country. They can arrange for someone who has had a urostomy to visit you before and after your surgery.
They also provide booklets about what is a urostomy, guidance on diet and exercise, travel and sex life after a urostomy.
Tel: 01386 430140
Organisations that can help with issues of sex and sexuality
College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT) provides information about what help and therapy is available for sexual difficulties.
Telephone: 020 8106 9635
Relate offers private and confidential counselling, and psychosexual therapy to help with relationship problems. They provide counselling over the phone, through a webcam or face to face at a Relate centre. Clients are asked to contribute towards the cost of their counselling sessions according to their income.
Books from libraries, bookshops or online booksellers
A Bloch and others
American Cancer Society, 2010
An American book but most of the information is relevant to the UK. It covers issues such as preventing weight loss and coping with dehydration, fatigue, and infection. It also discusses eating problems and digestion issues, such as swallowing problems, feeling sick and dealing with mouth sores. Focuses on survivorship and how to eat well after treatment.
Granville Island publishing, 2008
The writer's husband had cancer and this book is a compilation of recipes that they created together. The book aims to help people with cancer to incorporate healthy and appetising dishes into their diet. It has tips for meals and snacks to help people maintain their weight whilst on treatment. The book and the measures used are Canadian.
Sheldon Press, 2012
Written by a cancer dietitian, this is a practical handbook for people with cancer. Filled with helpful tips and recipes.
M Williams and others
Guilford Press, 2007
An American book, but two of the authors are British researchers who are helping to promote mindfulness based cognitive therapy courses for people experiencing stress and depression in the UK. A CD of guided meditations is included with the book.
Books about sex and cancer
S Kydd and D Rowett
Big Think Media, 2006
A responsible guide featuring personal stories and expert voices. Intimacy after Cancer takes an in-depth look at how women respond to, deal with, and overcome barriers to intimacy after a life-changing cancer diagnosis.
J H Haynes & Co Ltd, 2009
A practical guide to sexual health and enjoyment.
If you would like to recommend a book
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