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  • Author: Lisa H. Barraclough x
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Caroline C. Henson, Carmel N. Anandadas, Lisa H. Barraclough, Ric Swindell, Catharine M.L. West and Susan E. Davidson

Bowel toxicity is a major complication of cancer treatment, and its accurate reporting is important for assessing outcomes. The NCI’s Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) is the preferred method for capturing adverse events after all cancer treatments, particularly within clinical trials. However, the CTCAE version 4 does not include urgency of defecation as an item, despite this being one of the most common and persistent adverse consequences of treatment of pelvic cancers. The importance of bowel urgency to patients is well documented, and this treatment effect has a negative impact on social function and quality of life. Bowel urgency is also important clinically because it may represent significant underlying problems. This article presents the case for including patient reported assessment of bowel urgency as an independent item in cancer treatment adverse event reporting.