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A person holding a life raft around his stoma

Ostomies Are Life-Savers

October 5th is Ostomy Awareness Day. We’re spreading awareness of the life-saving benefits of ostomies for people living with bladder cancer!


What is an ostomy?

An ostomy is a bag, or “pouch” that collects urine outside of the body. People with high-risk or invasive bladder cancer may need to have a type of surgical treatment called a radical cystectomy. A radical cystectomy is a procedure where the surgeon removes the entire bladder, and creates a new way for urine to exit the body through an opening called a stoma, or urostomy. The urine flows into an ostomy bag.

An ostomy bag is typically located outside of the body on the lower left or right side, between the navel and hip. The surgery is life-changing, but after a period of adjustment, many people express gratitude about their ostomies and their “second chance at life.”

Do you live with an ostomy? Join the discussion!


Read more about life with a stoma

Our amazing contributors here at have written several articles about living with a stoma. They’ve covered everything from how to shower or bathe to how to go camping in a tent! Read more to learn about their experiences.

Having a Stoma: Who Should I Tell?
By Shirley Norris – February 8, 2018
Suddenly realizing that you are now going to “pee” through a hole in your tummy is something I never expected would happen to me… READ MORE

A Bag for Life!
By Anita Brown – June 4, 2018
I was allowed to go home on day 5 after my radical cystectomy. I was eating, only little bits, and my bowels had opened, although I had no control over them and it was the oddest sensation… READ MORE

Caring for a Stoma and the Potential Complications
By Editorial Team – June 14, 2019
Stoma complications can occur for numerous reasons. It is good to know in advance what to look for, and strategies to manage any complications you may experience… READ MORE

How to change an ostomy bag

Watch Anita demonstrate how she changes her ostomy bag and explains her technique and tips!