In women, radical cystectomy includes removal of bladder, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and anterior vaginal wall, yet contiguous extension of urothelial carcinoma to all pelvic organs is rare and routine removal may be unnecessary.


To study pelvic organ involvement in women at radical cystectomy and investigate oncologic outcomes.


Women with bladder cancer who underwent radical cystectomy at the Mayo Clinic and University of Toronto (1980–2018) were evaluated. Cancer-specific survival (CSS) was estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method; comparisons were made with the log-rank test. Associations with CSS were evaluated with Cox proportional hazard modeling.


A total of 70 women with pT4a and 83 with pT3b were studied. Organs involved were vagina (n = 41 of 70; 58.6%), uterus (n = 26 of 54; 48.1%), cervix (n = 15 of 54; 27.8%), fallopian tubes (n = 10 of 58; 17.2%), and ovaries (n = 7 of 58; 12.1%); 22 of 58 patients (37.9%) had >1 organ involved. Of 70 with pT4a, 64 were available for survival analysis by 3 pelvic organ groups: vaginal only, vaginal and/or cervical/uterine, and vaginal and/or cervical/uterine and/or fallopian tubes/ovarian involvement. Three-year CSS for vaginal involvement only was 39%; it was 14% if cervical/uterine involvement, and <1% if fallopian tube/ovarian involvement was included (P = .02). Among 20 women with pT4aN0/Nx and vaginal involvement only, 3-year CSS for vaginal involvement was 50%, whereas among 48 women with pT3bN0/Nx, 3-year CSS was 58%, P = .70.


Isolated vaginal involvement should be separated from uterine and/or adnexal extension of urothelial carcinoma at pathologic staging. Direct ovarian extension is rare and routine removal may be unnecessary.

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Author notes

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.