Bowel cancer in the older person
Barbara Borwell Clinical Nurse Consultant/Lecturer, Institute of Health and Community Studies, Bournemouth University
Colorectal cancer is a significant health problem throughout the western world. In the UK it is the second most common cause of death (NHSCRO 1997). The disease is associated with increasing longevity of the population and is most prevalent in the over-70 age group (Weinberg, 1998). Treatment for bowel cancer is linked with considerable morbidity. A diagnosis of bowel cancer can be a frightening, stressful and embarrassing experience at any age, but older people may face additional challenges, particularly if they or their partner or family are already living with illness or disability. The role of the nurse is to develop strategies to optimise an individual’s independence and enhance the quality of care by increasing their understanding of the impact and management of bowel cancer in this age group.
Cancer Nursing Practice.
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