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Urinary Incontinence Surgery in Women Not Tied to Pelvic Cancer

THURSDAY, April 29, 2021 -- Stress urinary incontinence surgery, with or without the use of transvaginal mesh, is not associated with an increased risk for pelvic malignancy in women, according to a study published online April 8 in The Journal of Urology.

Humberto R. Vigil, M.D., from the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues used data from 74,968 women in Ontario (Jan. 1, 2002, through Oct. 31, 2015), without a history of pelvic malignancy who underwent an index stress incontinence surgery to evaluate associations between mesh or nonmesh incontinence surgery and later cancer. The analysis included data from a control group of 5,505,576 women who did not undergo stress urinary incontinence surgery.

The researchers found that during a median follow-up of 8.5 years, 587 pelvic malignancies occurred in the surgery group. There was a reduced risk for pelvic malignancy independent of surgery type among women who underwent stress incontinence surgery compared with controls (mesh hazard ratio, 0.68; nonmesh hazard ratio, 0.37). Following stress incontinence surgery, the individual pelvic cancers also demonstrated a reduced risk for malignancy.

"Our population-based study finds no evidence of increased risk of pelvic cancers following stress urinary incontinence surgery, with or without the use of transvaginal mesh," Vigil said in a statement. "Providers can confidently reassure women regarding the lack of association."

Two authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Astellas, which partially funded the study.

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