Your feelings about pelvic exenteration

You may experience many different emotions about pelvic exenteration, including anger, resentment, guilt, anxiety and fear. These are all normal reactions and are part of the process people go through in trying to come to terms with major surgery and with the uncertainty cancer brings. It is important to remember that many people who have pelvic exenteration are cured of cancer and go on to live full and satisfying lives.

Talking about your emotions isn’t always easy, but it can help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and isolation. Try to let your family and friends know how you are feeling so they can support you.

Online support

Many people get support through the internet. There are online support groups, social networking sites, forums, chat rooms and blogs for people affected by cancer. You can use these to ask questions and share your experience.

Our Online Community is a place where you can talk to others who understand what you are going through. You can join groups relevant to your experiences, start a blog or ask our experts a question.

Specialist help

Sometimes it is easier to talk to someone who is not directly involved with your illness. You could ask your hospital consultant or GP to refer you to a doctor or counsellor. Some counsellors are specialists in the emotional effects of cancer on people who have it and their relatives.

Our cancer support specialists can tell you more about counselling and let you know about services in your area. Call them free on 0808 808 00 00.

Useful organisations

We have a list of organisations that may be able to offer you support and information. You can search our database of useful organisations that provide both practical and emotional support, including information on health, benefits and financial help.

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Having pelvic exenteration

Pelvic exenteration takes about eight hours. After the operation, you will have new ways for urine and bowel motions to leave your body.