Forty-nine percent of cancer in women affects the pelvis. Twenty-three percent of these cancers are in the pelvis itself (bladder, gynecological and rectal), and 26% are in the breast, whose treatment affects the pelvis. Many of these women experience urinary or fecal symptoms following cancer treatments:

  • 67% of women in remission for pelvic cancers greater than 1 year experience moderate to severe incontinence (Rutledge et al 2014)
  • 9% of gynecological cancer survivors reported urinary difficulties (Westin et al 2015)
  • 42% of gynecological cancer survivors experience fecal incontinence (Rutledge et al 2010)
  • 63% of women following rectal cancer treatment experience incontinence, 77% experience urinary urgency (Bregendahl et al 2015)

Fortunately there are effective treatments available. Pelvic floor physiotherapy has been shown to be effective in treating incontinence in gynecological cancer survivors (Rutledge et al 2014). It has been shown to provide a significant decrease in fecal incontinence following surgery for rectal cancer(Lin et al 2015).

If you or someone you care about is one of these women, know that there are effective treatments available. Please ask your Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist for more information. If you are interested in speaking with Pure Pelvic Health physiotherapist Danielle Van Andel please do not hesitate to contact Pure Pelvic Health at (905) 218-6556. We would be pleased to schedule an initial consultation for you. If you’re not sure if pelvic floor therapy is appropriate for you please call or use our web form and ask Danielle to call you back. She would be very happy to answer any questions you have about Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy.



Bregendahl S, Emmertsen KJ, Lindegaard JC, Laurberg S. Urinary and sexual dysfunction in women after resection with and without preoperative radiotherapy for rectal cancer: a population-based cross-sectional study. Colorectal Dis. 2015 Jan;17(1):26-37

Lin KY, Granger CL, Denehy L, Frawley HC. Pelvic floor muscle training for bowel dysfunction following colorectal cancer surgery: A systematic review. Neurourol Urodyn. 2015 Nov;34(8):703-12

Rutledge TL, Heckman SR, Qualls C, Muller CY, Rogers RG. Pelvic floor disorders and sexual function in gynecologic cancer survivors: A cohort study. AM J OBSTET GYNECOL. 2010;203(5):7 1p.

Rutledge TL et. al. (2014). A pilot randomized control trial to evaluate pelvic floor muscle training for urinary incontinence among gynecologic cancer survivors. Gynecologic Oncology, 132: 154-158.

Westin SN, Sun CC, Tung CS, Lacour RA, Meyer LA, Urbauer DL, Frumovitz MM, Lu KH, Bodurka DC. Survivors of gynecologic malignancies: impact of treatment on health and well-being. J Cancer Surviv. 2016 Apr;10(2):261-70