Purpose: This study was designed to evaluate the pelvic floor dysfunction and its impact on quality of life in gynecological cancer survivors and to assess the effects of pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation program on pelvic floor dysfunction and quality of life in gynecological cancer survivors by a prospective randomized controlled trial.
Methods: Thirty-four subjects with gynecological cancer and 16 healthy women completed a Korean version of pelvic floor questionnaire and Korean version of the EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-CX24. Gynecological cancer survivors were randomly allocated to exercise group performing Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Program (PFRP) or control group. All gynecological cancer survivors completed a Korean version of pelvic floor questionnaire and Korean version of the EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-CX 24 and MEP by sacral and transcranial magnetic stimulation and pelvic floor strength were examined at the baseline and post-intervention at 1 month.
Results: Gynecological cancer survivors have more pelvic floor dysfunction that have a relevant impact on HRQOL especially physical functioning compared to the healthy women. The exercise group had a significant improvement in pelvic floor dysfunction with comparison to the control group (p < 0.001). A significant short-term training effect was observed in exercise group in terms of more increase in pelvic muscle strength and higher rise in amplitude of motor evoked potential at sacral stimulation than in the control group.
Conclusions: Gynecological cancer and treatment procedures cause important problems that have a negative effect on quality of life. Pelvic floor dysfunction improved after PFRP in gynecological cancer survivors. These preliminary results support the feasibility of a substantive trial of PFMT for pelvic floor dysfunction in gynecological cancer survivors.