Late radiation-induced bowel syndromes, tobacco smoking, age at treatment and time since treatment–gynecological cancer survivors
Journal article, 2017
Background: It is unknown whether smoking; age at time of radiotherapy or time since radiotherapy influence the intensity of late radiation-induced bowel syndromes. Material and methods: We have previously identified 28 symptoms decreasing bowel health among 623 gynecological-cancer survivors (three to twelve years after radiotherapy) and 344 matched population-based controls. The 28 symptoms were grouped into five separate late bowel syndromes through factor analysis. Here, we related possible predictors of bowel health to syndrome intensity, by combining factor analysis weights and symptom frequency on a person-incidence scale. Results: A strong (p <.001) association between smoking and radiation-induced urgency syndrome was found with a syndrome intensity (normalized factor score) of 0.4 (never smoker), 1.2 (former smoker) and 2.5 (current smoker). Excessive gas discharge was also related to smoking (p =.001). Younger age at treatment resulted in a higher intensity, except for the leakage syndrome. For the urgency syndrome, intensity decreased with time since treatment. Conclusions: Smoking aggravates the radiation-induced urgency syndrome and excessive gas discharge syndrome. Smoking cessation may promote bowel health among gynecological-cancer survivors. Furthermore, by understanding the mechanism for the decline in urgency-syndrome intensity over time, we may identify new strategies for prevention and alleviation.