Journal of Cancer Survivorship

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 652–658

Perception of body odor—an overlooked consequence of long-term gastrointestinal and urinary symptoms after radiation therapy for prostate cancer

  • D. Alsadius
  • C. Olsson
  • N. Pettersson
  • S. L. Tucker
  • U. Wilderäng
  • G. Steineck
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11764-013-0304-8

Cite this article as:
Alsadius, D., Olsson, C., Pettersson, N. et al. J Cancer Surviv (2013) 7: 652. doi:10.1007/s11764-013-0304-8

Abstract

Purpose

This study was conducted to investigate the association of long-term gastrointestinal and urinary symptoms with perceived fecal or urine body odor after radiation therapy for prostate cancer and its effect on survivors’ quality of life.

Methods

We used a study-specific questionnaire to measure the occurrence of long-term gastrointestinal and urinary symptoms, the perception of fecal or urine body odor, and quality of life (QoL) 2 to 14 years after radiation therapy for prostate cancer. The questionnaire was sent to 895 eligible survivors who assessed symptom occurrence and QoL in the previous 6 months.

Results

We received a filled-in questionnaire from 874 (89 %) men. For the long-term gastrointestinal symptoms, 11/13 were associated with the perception of fecal body odor. For the long-term urinary symptoms, 11/11 were associated with the perception of urine body odor. Men who perceived fecal or urine body odor had a lower quality of life, a lower physical health, and more frequent feelings of depression compared with those who did perceive such body odor.

Conclusion

Long-term gastrointestinal and urinary symptoms after prostate irradiation are associated with the perception of fecal or urine body odor leading to a reduced quality of life.

Implications for cancer survivors

Disabling body odor after pelvic irradiation needs to be acknowledged in the clinic. Interventions to prevent long-term symptoms may serve the benefit of avoiding fecal or urine body odor after radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

Keywords

Gastrointestinal Genitourinary Late toxicity Odor Prostate cancer Radiation therapy 

Supplementary material

11764_2013_304_MOESM1_ESM.docx (64 kb)
ESM 1(DOCX 63 kb)
11764_2013_304_MOESM2_ESM.docx (60 kb)
ESM 2(DOCX 59 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Alsadius
    • 1
  • C. Olsson
    • 1
  • N. Pettersson
    • 2
  • S. L. Tucker
    • 3
  • U. Wilderäng
    • 1
  • G. Steineck
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Department of Oncology, Institute of Clinical SciencesSahlgrenska Academy at University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.Department of Physics and Biomedical EngineeringSahlgrenska University HospitalGothenburgSweden
  3. 3.Department of Bioinformatics and Computational BiologyThe University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Division of Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Department of Oncology–PathologyKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden