Cancer and its treatment may cause changes in the usual patterns of elimination. Some treatments cause constipation or loose stool. Urinary tract infections may result from immune system suppression. In some cases, cancer-related surgery creates new outlets for stool and urine in the form of colostomies, ileostomies, ileal conduits or other urinary diversions. All of these cancer treatments can cause physical and psychological distress and may impose restrictions or challenges at work.
Changes in bowel and bladder function may provoke concerns about elimination. A work environment that provides easy and regular access to a private bathroom is desirable. Ostomy care requires some education and practice so that the employee feels comfortable in preventing and troubleshooting any problems.