Functional Outcomes Following Radical Cystectomy in Women with Bladder Cancer: A Systematic Review

Gender-specific functional and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) outcomes following radical cystectomy (RC) for bladder cancer (BCa) remain unclear, with many studies excluding women from the study population.

To better characterize female-specific functional outcomes following RC and urinary diversion for BCa.

We performed a critical review of PubMed/Medline and Embase in August 2015 according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis statement. Outcomes of interest included urinary function (for orthotopic neobladder), sexual function, bowel function, and quality of life. Excluded were nonbladder malignancies, RCs performed for neurogenic bladder dysfunction, and patients with exposure to radiation therapy prior to surgery. Forty-five publications were selected for inclusion in this analysis.

Included reports addressed urinary function (34 studies), sexual function (11 studies), and HRQOL (9 studies). All studies had a high risk of bias and ranged significantly in sample size, inclusion criteria, and follow-up time, precluding meaningful meta-analysis. Daytime incontinence approximated 20%, nighttime incontinence 20%, and hypercontinence 10-20%. Sexual function appeared to be better among those patients undergoing genitalia-sparing RC, but generally poor outcomes were noted among those undergoing routine RC. Only 40% of studies assessed sexual function using standardized instruments. HRQOL differences between diversion types appeared to be minimal, whereas comparisons with the general population revealed significant differences in emotional problems, role functioning, fatigue, and appetite.

Functional outcomes among women undergoing RC for BCa are poorly studied with limitations regarding use of validated questionnaires, heterogeneous patient populations, and small sample sizes. Collaborative efforts will be needed to better define functional outcomes among this poorly studied patient population.

We reviewed functional outcomes following cystectomy among women with bladder cancer. We found that urinary, sexual, and bowel function and quality of life are poorly studied among women, with function ranging significantly across studies.

European urology focus. 2016 Jun 01 [Epub]

Angela B Smith, Karen Crowell, Michael E Woods, Eric M Wallen, Raj S Pruthi, Matthew E Nielsen, Cheryl T Lee

Department of Urology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cancer Outcomes Research Group, Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. Electronic address: ., Health Sciences Library, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA., Department of Urology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cancer Outcomes Research Group, Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology, Chapel Hill, NC, USA., Department of Urology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cancer Outcomes Research Group, Multidisciplinary Genitourinary Oncology, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA., Department of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.