Bladder and bowel symptoms in cervical and endometrial cancer survivors

Kristine A. Donovan, Alice R. Boyington, Patricia L. Judson, Jean F. Wyman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Back ground Previous studies likely underestimate the prevalence of bowel and bladder symptoms in gynecologic cancer survivors. We sought to estimate the prevalence of these symptoms in cervical and endometrial cancer survivors who had completed treatment 1year previously compared with non-cancer controls, and to examine factors associated with more severe symptoms in survivors. Methods As part of a larger quality of life study, survivors who were 1-year posttreatment for cervical or endometrial cancer (n=104) completed measures of bladder and bowel symptoms. An age-matched and race/ethnicity-matched sample of women with no history of cancer was recruited for comparison purposes. Results Survivors reported a higher prevalence of bladder symptoms, specifically storage and incontinence symptoms, than non-cancer controls. Prevalence rates for bowel symptoms in survivors were higher than those reported in previous studies. Greater symptom severity was associated with younger age, lower annual incomes, and less education. Other correlates included higher body mass index and history of smoking. As hypothesized, more severe symptoms were associated with radical hysterectomy and pelvic radiation. Conclusions Bladder and bowel symptoms are more prevalent in cervical and endometrial cancer survivors than non-cancer controls. Future research should replicate these findings in a larger, prospective study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-678
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • bladder symptoms
  • bowel symptoms
  • cervical cancer
  • endometrial cancer
  • survivorship

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