Introduction/Background Cycling is an integral part of Dutch life. It facilitates nearly a quarter of all journeys. Around the world, bicycle use is increasing, as it provides a quick urban traffic solution, with ecological, social, economic and health benefits. Bicycle use may be impeded by vulvar cancer and its surgical treatment, when saddle-use becomes uncomfortable or painful. This can lead to a relevant loss in mobility, self-reliance, and quality of life (QoL) of patients.
Methodology Patients who underwent vulvectomy at the Erasmus MC between 2018–2021 were retrospectively asked to complete a problem-specific questionnaire to assess loss in mobility and perceived problems during bicycle use, and the EQ-5D-5L questionnaire to estimate QoL.
Results In total, 78 patients (58%) filled in the questionnaires. The age of respondents was 68±12 years (mean ± standard deviation). Of respondents, 58% reported problems with cycling, 34% felt impeded to cycle because of their vulva, and 56% wished to be able to make more or longer cycling journeys. Chafing, pain in the vulva or sit-bones were the most frequent complaints (figure 1). The results from the EQ-5D-5L showed a similar QoL in the test group, 0.844±0.213, compared with the reference value for Dutch women, 0.858±0.168.
Conclusion This study shows that physical complaints that can impede cycling mobility are experienced frequently by women after vulvar cancer surgery. This motivates further investigation into ways to alleviate these complaints to help women improve their mobility, physical activity, and self-reliance.
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