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Urinary dysfunction in patients with rectal cancer: a prospective cohort study

Journal article
Authors L. Karlsson
David Bock
Dan Asplund
B. Ohlsson
J. Rosenberg
Eva Angenete
Published in Colorectal Disease
ISSN 1462-8910
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Language en
Keywords PROM, rectal cancer, Urinary dysfunction
Subject categories Cancer and Oncology


© 2019 The Authors. Colorectal Disease published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland. Aim: Urinary dysfunction is one of many complications after treatment for rectal cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of patient-reported urinary dysfunction at the time of diagnosis and at 1-year follow-up and to assess the risk factors linked to urinary incontinence. Method: Patients with newly diagnosed rectal cancer were included in the QoLiRECT study between 2012 and 2015. Questionnaires from the time of diagnosis and 1-year follow-up were analysed, with 1085 and 916 patients, respectively, eligible for analysis. Regression analyses were made to investigate possible risk factors for incontinence. The patient cohort was also compared with a cohort from the Swedish general population. Results: At baseline, the prevalence of urinary dysfunction (14% of women, 8% of men) was similar to that in the general population. At 1-year follow-up, 20% of patients experienced urinary incontinence (29% of women, 14% of men). Emptying difficulties were experienced by 46% (41% of women, 49% of men) and urgency by 58% across both sexes. Abdominoperineal excision and urinary dysfunction at baseline were found to be independent risk factors for incontinence at 1-year follow-up. Among patients who were continent at baseline, risk factors were female sex, physical inactivity at baseline, comorbidity and abdominoperineal excision. Conclusion: Urinary dysfunction is frequent among patients with rectal cancer, with up to a two-fold increase in symptoms 1 year after diagnosis. Unfortunately, few factors are modifiable and these results stress the importance of informing patients of possible outcomes related to urinary dysfunction after treatment for rectal cancer.

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