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Herman & Wallace Blog

Consequences of Surgery for Female Colorectal Cancer

Patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer may undergo a procedure called mesorectal excision as part of their oncology management. In this procedure, a significant portion of the bowel is removed along with the tumor. Total mesorectal excision refers to the entire rectum and mesorectum (peritoneum that connects the upper rectum.) The rectum is removed up to the level of the levator muscles, and this procedure is indicated for tumors of the middle and lower rectum. In a study published in the World Journal of Oncology, the authors report on female urogenital dysfunction following total mesorectal excision (TME).

Questionnaires were returned by 18 women (age range 34-86) who had undergone TME for rectal cancer. Results of the study are summarized in the chart below. (All patients had reported vaginal childbirth, and five had undergone total abdominal hysterectomy and oophrectomy.)

Presurgical
Postsurgical

Sexual function

5/18 (28%) were sexually active (with no complaints of dyspareunia) Sexually active patients remained active but all reported discomfort with penetration
2 patients reported decreased libido due to stoma

Urinary function

3/18 (17%) reported urinary urgency and frequency Of patients with urinary symptoms, 80% persisted longer than 3 months post-surgery
7/18 (39%) reported stress urinary incontinence
New onset symptoms: 61% developed nocturia, 20% developed stress urinary incontinence, 1 patient required permanent catheter

The authors conclude that rectal cancer treatment can worsen urinary symptoms of nocturia and stress incontinence. Patients who had also been treated with a hysterectomy were found to have more significant symptoms. A proposed mechanism of this increase in symptoms in women who had undergone a hysterectomy is the prior nerve dissection which, when added to the nerve dissection of the inferior hypogastric plexus and the hyogastric nerves for the total mesorectal excision, may have an additive effect. This study which is available full-text, free access, describes further the relationship between the autonomic nervous system in the female pelvis, pelvic function, and the surgery for rectal cancer. Data such as the information provided in this study allow medical providers and their patients to make well-informed decisions about surgeries and quality of life risk factors that may guide medical management of colorectal cancer.

If you would like to feel better prepared to manage post-surgical issues that arise following treatments for colorectal cancer in women, check out the Institute’s Oncology and the Female Pelvic Floor course taught by faculty member Michelle Lyons. This continuing education course happens next in May in Torrance, California.

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Upcoming Continuing Education Courses

Pregnancy Rehabilitation - Seattle, WA (SOLD OUT)

Feb 22, 2020 - Feb 23, 2020
Location: Pacific Medical Centers

Manual Therapy Techniques for the Pelvic Rehab Therapist - Pasadena, CA

Feb 22, 2020 - Feb 23, 2020
Location: Huntington Hospital

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - Alexandria, VA (SOLD OUT)

Feb 28, 2020 - Mar 1, 2020
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Feb 28, 2020 - Mar 1, 2020
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Pediatric Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders - Charlotte, NC

Feb 28, 2020 - Mar 1, 2020
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Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging: Orthopedic Topics - Raleigh, NC

Feb 28, 2020 - Feb 29, 2020
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Pelvic Floor Series Capstone - Phoenix, AZ (SOLD OUT)

Mar 6, 2020 - Mar 8, 2020
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Mar 6, 2020 - Mar 8, 2020
Location: Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center

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Mar 6, 2020 - Mar 8, 2020
Location: Princeton Healthcare System

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Location: Ochsner Health System

Mobilization of the Myofascial layer: Pelvis and Lower Extremity- Grand Rapids, MI

Mar 6, 2020 - Mar 8, 2020
Location: Spectrum Health System

Bowel Pathology and Function -Salt Lake City, UT

Mar 7, 2020 - Mar 8, 2020
Location: Veterans Administration - Salt Lake City

Postpartum Rehabilitation - Washington, DC (SOLD OUT)

Mar 7, 2020 - Mar 8, 2020
Location: GWUH Outpatient Rehabilitation Center

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Mar 13, 2020 - Mar 15, 2020
Location: Sentara Therapy Center - Princess Anne

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Philadelphia, PA (SOLD OUT)

Mar 13, 2020 - Mar 15, 2020
Location: Thomas Jefferson University

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Manchester, NH (SOLD OUT)

Mar 13, 2020 - Mar 15, 2020
Location: Franklin Pierce University

Meeks Method for Osteoporosis - Minneapolis, MN

Mar 14, 2020 - Mar 15, 2020
Location: Park Nicollet Clinic--St. Louis Park

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Minneapolis, MN (SOLD OUT)

Mar 20, 2020 - Mar 22, 2020
Location: Allina Hospitals and Clinics

Nutrition Perspectives for the Pelvic Rehab Therapist - San Diego, CA

Mar 20, 2020 - Mar 22, 2020
Location: Comprehensive Therapy Services

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Birmingham, AL (SOLD OUT)

Mar 20, 2020 - Mar 22, 2020
Location: Shelby Baptist Medical Center

Mobilization of Visceral Fascia: The Urinary System - Carlsbad, CA

Mar 20, 2020 - Mar 22, 2020
Location: Tri-City Medical Center

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Bellingham, WA (SOLD OUT)

Mar 20, 2020 - Mar 22, 2020
Location: PeaceHealth- St. Joseph Medical Center

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Los Angeles, CA (SOLD OUT)

Mar 20, 2020 - Mar 22, 2020
Location: Mount Saint Mary’s University

Breastfeeding Conditions - Phoenix, AZ

Mar 21, 2020 - Mar 22, 2020
Location: Banner Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Breathing and the Diaphragm: Orthopedic Therapists - Sterling Heights, MI

Mar 27, 2020 - Mar 29, 2020
Location: Henry Ford Macomb Hospital

Breathing and the Diaphragm: Pelvic and Orthopedic Therapists - Sterling Heights, MI

Mar 27, 2020 - Mar 29, 2020
Location: Henry Ford Macomb Hospital

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Corvallis, OR (SOLD OUT)

Mar 27, 2020 - Mar 29, 2020
Location: Albany Sport & Spine Physical Therapy

Breast Cancer Rehabilitation - Alexandria, VA

Mar 28, 2020 - Mar 29, 2020
Location: Inova Physical Therapy Center