Records of 56,681 women diagnosed with uterine cancer as their first primary malignancy between 1980 and 2006 were analyzed.
With an average follow up of 15 years, bladder cancer incidence in uterine cancer patients treated with pelvic radiation therapy was twice as high as that seen in patients treated without radiation. Likewise, the death rate from bladder cancer was nearly three times higher in patients treated with pelvic radiation that with those who did not receive radiation.
Although previously it was thought bladder cancer that developed after pelvic radiation tended to be aggressive with high grades and stages this study found the types, grades and stages of bladder cancer that developed were similar in patients treated with and without radiation therapy.
Researchers concluded, “physicians who care for patients with a history of uterine cancer and pelvic radiation treatment should keep in mind the increased risk of bladder cancer.”