Small bowel dysfunction is an important problem in patients undergoing radiotherapy for cervical cancer and may take many forms. The spectrum of small bowel dysfunction includes subtle findings such as malabsorption and more obvious complications such as obstruction and fistula formation. Predicting who will experience small bowel dysfunction is important so that prospective studies of these compications can be planned. We undertook a controlled retrospective review of patients with stage IB cervical carcinoma looking for parameters of small bowel dysfunction and their predictors to help in the design of a prospective study. This analysis suggests that the interval to development is long. The best predictor of diarrhea requiring medication was the number of laparotomies. A large sample size of stage IB patients would be necessary to prospectively study small bowel dysfunction in this population.
- cervical cancer
- small bowel
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