Archives of Surgical Oncology

ISSN: 2471-2671

Open Access

A study of assessment of sexual functioning of patients with colorectal cancers and their spouses at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India


Surekha Stephen Dongerdive

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a formidable health problem worldwide. It is the third most common cancer in men (663000 cases, 10.0% of all cancer cases) and the second most common in women (571000 cases, 9.4% of all cancer cases). Almost 60% of cases are encountered in developed countries. The number of CRC-related deaths is estimated to be approximately 608000 worldwide, accounting for 8% of all cancer deaths and making CRC the fourth most common cause of death due to cancer. In India, the annual incidence rates (AARs) for rectal cancer in men are 4.1 per 100000, respectively. The AAR for colon cancer in women is 3.9 per 100000. Colon cancer ranks 8th and rectal cancer ranks 9th among men. For women, rectal cancer does not figure in the top 10 cancers, whereas colon cancer ranks 9th. While the incidence rates of CRC is much lower in India, the survival rates for CRC are disproportionately lower. A stoma operation causes profound changes in a patient’s life because of the resulting physical damage, disfigurement, loss of bodily function, impaired or lack of interest in sexual function/ activity. It can change the person’s social life and make them feel different because they do not display the characteristics and attributes that society deems normal, due to their changed body. It may even lead social isolation and may find it difficult to understand the implications of a stoma. The nurse, as a member of the multi-professional team, has an important role in the process of counselling to the person with a stoma, as she has competence and assistential tools, such as Systematized Nursing Care, for detecting all the difficulties in adaptation that these clients may face in their condition of having stomas, as well as outlining together actions aimed at minimizing and overcoming such difficulties.


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