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Colorectal Cancer: Ostomy

Ostomy And Work

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Whether to tell co-workers about an ostomy generally depends on your work environment and job.

For example, if you are a Wall Street securities analyst or an attorney where image has a lot to do with the evaluation of your performance, you may not want to tell co-workers about either your illness or treatment.

On the other hand, if you work in a job that is about helping other people, it may be easier to share the information. Likewise if you work in a situation where people are aware of your toileting habits and you need the toilet frequently during the day.

If your job involves heavy lifting, you have no choice but to tell your employer and co-workers about your ostomy.. Otherwise it is up to you whether to tell co-workers and/or your employer about an ostomy.

If you do tell, educate co-workers about your cancer and treatment so they will understand what you are dealing with – and not dealing with. Also let them know that your cancer is not contagious. (Yes, there are still some people who believe cancer is contagious). 

If you work for a large employer, you can seek out other people with a similar situation for mutual support and information sharing. 

In any event, start keeping a work journal “just in case” you begin to feel you are being discriminated against because of your health condition. To learn how, click here. 

To learn about legal protections against discrimination because of your situation, click here

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