Category Archives: info

A Message from C-Side’s Chair

For some 2023 has been a difficult year with the frightening diagnosis of bowel cancer. For others 2023 has been a more optimistic year where treatment has been successful and the most recent scans and blood tests have confirmed the all clear.

For all of us, we are not alone in this fight. We are thankful for the professionalism and dedication of NHS doctors, nurses, radiologists, health care assistants and countless other staff who work tirelessly to help us cope with the daunting treatment programmes. Organisations such as Macmillan and Bowel Cancer UK can give us further support and information about our cancer.

Although we at C-Side are not cancer professionals, in our own way we are there to support those that need it, as we have all personally been affected by bowel cancer, as cancer sufferers, cancer survivors, or as family members and loved ones of those who have or who have had bowel cancer.

I’d like to end by wishing all members past, present and future of C-Side a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2024.


Compassion in Dying

It is a kindness to oneself and to ones loved-ones to consider end of life issues.

Making clear how physical assets are to be distributed after you have gone is relatively simple. Perhaps a more important aspect to end of life planning  is to establish well ahead how and in what circumstances one might wish ones medical life-support to end in the event of loosing the mental capacity to make decisions for oneself. It is unfair to expect relatives and friends to make these decisions without knowing how one would have wished them. Writing an Advance Decision (a.k. the Living Will) document is straightforward using the guidance provided by organisations such as Compassion In Dying. Click on the above logo or on this link for more information.

Faster Diagnostic Standard (FDS)

Since late 2021 in the world of colorectal and other cancers there has been a thing called the “Faster Diagnostic Standard (FDS)”.

This aims to reduce the time to 28 days from GP referral to specialist diagnosis for at least 75% of patients. It’s like the front end, or first stage, of a sequence of actions and events which NHS England calls a “pathway”.  This period has to include: histological analysis, CT scan, blood tests and MDT discussion. You can read more about the FDS and its benefits from NHS England by clicking on the NHS England logo or just here.

But remember the target is to be met for “at least 75% of patients” – since it’s introduction FDS has never met the 75% target – so don’t hang out the flags yet!  Thank goodness someone is looking at the results – and not just at the  rhetoric.

Cancer Research UK has some figures. See here.

Patients will welcome changes to the old fashioned two-week wait target, which was solely concerned with getting a first appointment with a specialist within that period of time. Read more about this here.



Stoma Skin Health & Lifestyle Roadshow

The Stoma Team of University Hospitals Sussex invite you to a
Stoma Skin Health & Lifestyle Roadshow

“Stoma care products are tailored to your needs and delivered free of charge, no matter where you are – whether you’re at home or on holiday”.


“Dansac products are developed to support the quality of life for people living with a stoma. Our products are easy to use and provide security, comfort, and discretion”.


“Protecting peristomal skin means using products that provide a good seal around the stoma and promote skin health. Hollister uses the unique combination of security and skin health to design skin barriers that help maintain healthy skin”.

(Click on any of the above logos to go to the company websites)

When : 14:00 to 16:00 on November 9th 2022
Where : Malmaison, The Waterfront, Brighton Marina, BN2 5WA

The Ostimate’s Kitchen: Home delivery service Fittlworth, in conjunction with Colostomy UK, have created a nutritional guide and recipe book to help ostimates enjoy a healthy and varied diet. Fittleworth have worked closely with nutritionist Laura Coster Bsc (Hons) to create this guide to support ostimates and also French chef Sylvain Gachot to create unique recipes that have been adapted to suit a typical ostomate’s requirements. There will be a demonstration and tasting session.

The latest inovative products from Dansac and Hollister will be shared highlighting the importance of security & skin health.

To confirm your attendance, please
call: 01273696 955 ext. 64215 or

Access and Parking (free) via Bridge on Level 6a of Marina multi-storey car park.
Light refreshments available.




Adele Roberts on living with her stoma

Last October, the Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts announced she’d been diagnosed with bowel cancer. She’s been through intense treatment, and now wears a stoma bag as her bowel recovers.
To hear her story and the sories from others on living with a stoma, click on the photo or here

Invest in the NHS Cancer Workforce

Covid-19 exposed the terrible strain the NHS cancer workforce has been under for years. This is now the greatest threat facing the NHS. We are calling for the Government to use the Spending Review to fund the additional provision of NHS staff to diagnose, treat and care for cancer patients. Follow this link or just click on the image to read more and add your name to this petition:-


Obesity Causes Cancer!

Watch this video to see how cancer (especially bowel and breast cancer) are linked to obesity.

The statistical evidence of this link is undeniable. This diagram gives a clinical explanation of the causal relationship:

To read the complete Cancer Research UK article follow this link


Old Man Cycling

“My name is Mike. Over the years, our family has had help from a variety of charities, this is in a small way maybe turning the support the other way. How am I doing that? Bit of a bike ride. This is a long cycle, not sure how well that is going to go, and these charities are listed as potential beneficiaries. They all need support as recently charity fund raising has suffered.”

To read more, click on the image above which shows the charities that will benefit.

Mike is a member of C-Side and we wish him all the best for this mammoth test of endurance to take place on Sunday 19th June. Please find it in your hearts to make a modest sponsorship contribution. You can see that there are a wide range of beneficiaries, many of them might be of particular value to you one day!

To read more about the Chase the Sun event click here.



Swimming with a Stoma

Gill Castle is on a mission to break down fear and stigma around swimming with a stoma bag.

She proudly wears her colostomy pouch, which she needs following a traumatic childbirth – something Gill calls an “unspoken topic of conversation”.

To raise awareness of stomas and birth trauma, Gill has spent the winter months swimming in the sea off the coast of north-east England.

She told her story to BBC World Service’s Newsday. Click on the picture to watch the video.







Stoma Advice

Long standing C-Side members will remember Helen Bracey, She was engaging, informative and an altogether outstanding guest speaker. Helen now works for Convatec and in their newsletter she describes eight top tips for maintaining healthy skin around your stoma :-

  • keep stoma care routines simple – avoid using products on the skin containing perfumes, chemicals or anything else which may cause irritation
  • always ensure your skin is completely dry before attempting to attach the baseplate of your stoma bag
  • make sure your bag fits snugly and check the hole cut into your baseplate is the right size for your stoma
  • check your skin regularly – even take pictures to help record changes
  • if you notice output on your skin this could be a sign your bag isn’t fitted correctly 
  • a healthy diet can help towards healthy skin ask your GP for advice
  • consider a barrier cream or adhesive remover if you don’t already use them
  • as soon as you feel any soreness or itchiness around your stoma contact your stoma nurse

You can watch Helen giving this advice, in person, by clicking on this Youtube video link

Click on the Convatech logo above, to find out more about the company, its products and the information it offers to those with a stoma.

BSUH Stoma Care Service

It would be remiss to not mention here the excellent service that Kate Evans and her team provide within the NHS.

Click on this link to download the BSUH Stoma Care Service leaflet.