Concomitant surgeries for endometrial cancer and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) led to better SUI outcomes than did cancer surgery with nonsurgical SUI therapy, according to a study examining the effects of an SUI screen among endometrial cancer patients.

Dr. Evelyn Hall, a fellow in female pelvic medicine reconstructive medicine at Brown University, Providence, R.I. Jim Kling/MDedge News

Dr. Evelyn Hall

An estimated 40%-80% of women with endometrial cancer experience SUI. The malignancy often is caught early enough to be treated with curative intent, and that is leading physicians and patients to think more about quality of life outcomes.

And yet, few patients receive concomitant surgery. Twenty percent of the women in the current study opted for concomitant surgeries, yet large database studies show the frequency of concomitant surgeries is about 2.5%. “There’s huge room for improvement in this area. The take-home message is that this is prevalent, this is doable, and this is something that could truly benefit this population,” Evelyn Hall, MD, said in an interview. Dr. Hall is a fellow in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive medicine at Brown University, Providence, R.I. She presented the study at the annual scientific meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Surgeons.

It’s not entirely surprising that SUI tends to be overlooked in patients with endometrial cancer. After all, they are going through a life-changing medical diagnosis, and oncologists are laser focused on achieving a cure when possible. But a bigger picture view, especially in light of the high cure rate for endometrial cancer when detected early, should encourage physicians to think differently about patient management.

The biggest trick may be incorporating concomitant surgeries into the surgical work flow. “It can be challenging logistically. It requires surgical planning and coordination between the two surgeons,” said Dr. Hall. But she said the experience at Brown University showed that it was possible with some patience. “It took a while to get the balls rolling, but once we figured out [it] worked for our institution, we’ve seen a continued uptake,” she said.

An important remaining question is the safety of the concomitant surgeries. Dr. Hall did not report any between-group differences in her presentation, but analysis is ongoing. They found a statistically significant increase in the number of readmissions among the concomitant surgery group, but most were deemed unlikely to be related to concomitant surgery.

In the study, 1,322 endometrial surgical candidates were screened for SUI, and 53% tested positive. Of these, 556 patients were offered concomitant surgical or nonsurgical SUI treatment: 21% chose concomitant surgery, 19% chose nonsurgical SUI treatment, and 60% of patients opted for no SUI treatment.

At 6 months after surgery, the concomitant surgery group was more likely to have a Urinary Distress Inventory (UDI)–Stress score of 0 than were those who were treated nonsurgically (odds ratio, 2.8; P = .0001) and those in the no-treatment group (OR, 3.7; P less than .0001). The concomitant group also was more likely to have a surgical site infection (SSI) score of 0 than was the nonsurgical group (OR, 2.9; P = .0008) and the no-treatment group (OR, 2.7; P less than .0001). Severe/very severe SSI scores occurred in 57% of the concomitant group at baseline, and this frequency dropped to 14% at 6 weeks (P less than .0001).

The study was funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Dr. Hall has no relevant financial disclosures.

SOURCE: Hall E et al. SGS 2019, oral presentation 12.