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

L Karlsson, D Bock, D Asplund, B Ohlsson, Jacob Rosenberg, E Angenete


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.

TidsskriftColorectal Disease
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)18-28
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 23 jun. 2019


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