Compliance and clinical efficacy of vaginal dilator after radiotherapy for cervical and endometrial malignancies

Rabia Tahseen, Yumna Ahmed, Maria Tariq, Sehrish Abrar, Nasir Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the compliance and clinical efficacy of vaginal dilators (VDs) as an educational intervention in patients receiving pelvic radiation therapy (RT) for endometrial and cervical malignancies. Material and methods: This is a single institution, retrospective chart review. Patients undergoing pelvic RT for endometrial or cervical cancer at our center were educated about the use of a VD starting 1 month after completion of RT. The patients were assessed after 3 months of prescribing VD. The demographic details and physical examination findings were extracted from medical records. Results: We identified 54 female patients at our institution during the 6-month duration. The median mean age of patients was 54 ± 9.9 years. Twenty-four (44.4%) had endometrial cancers and 30 (55.6%) were diagnosed with cervical cancers. All patients received external beam RT, 38 (70.4%) received a dose of 45 Gy, and 16 (29.6%) patients received 50.4 Gy. Brachytherapy was also received by all patients, 28 (51.9%) received 5 Gy × 2 fractions, 4 (7.4%) received 7 Gy × 3 fractions and 22 (40.7%) received 8 Gy × 3 fractions. The compliance with VD use was 36 (66.6%) patients. Twenty-two (40.7%) used 2–3 times a week, 8 (14.8%) used <2 times per week and 6 (11.9%) used only once a month, and 18 (33.3%) did not use the VD post-treatment. Per vaginal (PV) examination findings of the patient’s vagina with normal mucosa were evaluated in 32 (59.3%) and adhesions were found in 20 (37.0%) and 2 (3.7%) were unable to examine due to dense adhesions. During examination 12 (22.2%) had bleeding PV, however, the majority of the patients, 42 (77.8%) experienced no bleeding PV. Out of the 36 patients who used a VD, it was found to be efficacious in 29 (80.6%) of patients. Upon stratification of efficacy with a frequency of VD, 72.4% (n = 21) efficacy was seen in patients using frequent VD as prescribed 2–3 times per week. Conclusion: The compliance and efficacy of VD use after radiation to pelvic in cervical and endometrial cancers at 3 months follow-up were found to be 66.6% and 80.6%, respectively. This shows that VD therapy is an effective interventional tool and patients should receive specialist education about vaginal stenosis as toxicity at the outset of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1545
Journalecancermedicalscience
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • cervical cancer
  • compliance
  • endometrial cancer
  • pelvic radiation therapy
  • vaginal dilator

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