What issue does this study address?

14,000 new cases of rectal cancer are diagnosed in the UK every year. At the time of diagnosis between 5–10% have grown outside the bowel (locally advanced) and 4–8% of cancers return after previous treatment (locally recurrent). For these patients the only treatment that might cure their cancer is called pelvic exenteration. This is a high-risk, life changing surgery where many organs in the pelvic area are removed. These can include the rectum, bladder, womb and ovaries or prostate.

This complex surgery requires patients to be informed about the risks and benefits, but there is very little information available online for them about this procedure.

What is the aim of this project?

Patient decision aids contain key information that help patients make decisions about what care they receive, and support conversations with their healthcare team. This project aims to develop a patient decision aid for pelvic exenteration surgery, taking into account the aspects that matter most to patients and testing how it could be implemented.

The research team

This project will be led by Miss Anwen Williams, a Colorectal Surgeon and PhD student in Swansea. Other team members include surgeons, clinical trials experts and health research professionals.