Chief of Cancer Rehabilitation Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte, North Carolina
Pelvic floor dysfunction among cancer survivors is not well defined and is often addressed later in a survivor’s treatment course, leading to impairments which negatively impact their quality of life. Treatment modalities for gynecological cancers such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgical interventions increase the patient’s predisposition for pelvic floor dysfunction. To date, studies have indicated a rise of prevalence, from 4 to 84% among various gynecological cancer survivors including general incontinence (urinary/fecal), dyspareunia, and pelvic organ prolapse. Identification and evaluation of these pelvic disorders involves patient completion of therapist’s selected questionnaires, and internal pelvic and/or rectal examination. Current evidence-based review of treatment options and outcomes supports the use of biofeedback for pelvic floor muscle strengthening, manual techniques to decrease hypertonicity and restore function, and behavioral modifications as an effective and conservative treatment approach to address pelvic dysfunction.
Provide an overview of the prevalence and type of pelvic disorders commonly treated amongst cancer survivors.
Describe aspects of a pelvic evaluation to identify pelvic floor dysfunction.
Review current evidence-based pelvic rehab treatment interventions.