Study finds women referred for bladder cancer less often than men

Women with blood in their urine (hematuria) were less than half as likely as men with the same issue to be referred to a urologist for further tests, according to a new Vanderbilt University study.

The findings may help explain why women with are often diagnosed at a later stage in the disease and have worse mortality than men.

The study, presented by Jeffrey Bassett, M.D., MPH, fellow in Urologic Oncology, and Principal Investigator Daniel Barocas, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of Urologic Surgery, was shared during the American Urological Association (AUA) annual conference held May 16 - 21 in Orlando, Florida, and was highlighted during the AUA press program.

Blood in the urine is often the first sign of bladder cancer. The AUA recommends that everyone over 35 with hematuria not due to a benign cause receive an evaluation that includes looking inside the bladder (cystoscopy) as well as imaging of the , usually with a CT scan.

For this study, investigators reviewed the medical records of a random sample of 9,211 Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with hematuria between January 2009 and June 2010. Only 17 percent of females with a diagnosis of hematuria from their provider were referred to a urologist for a diagnostic workup within 180 days, compared to 39 percent of men. Receipt of a complete evaluation did not differ by race.

"The data in the literature suggest that the misdiagnosis and treatment of hematuria in women as is one of the main reasons they present with more advanced stage bladder cancer at diagnosis," said Bassett.

Some of the difference may be clinical decision-making by physicians who know that women are less likely to have bladder cancer than men. But Barocas said the disparities suggest may need to be more vigilant.

"We are missing opportunities to diagnose these cancers early enough and it's increasing the treatment burden and mortality for women. Because we see such advanced disease in women and they are worked up for so much less frequently, there may be a need to figure out how to risk-stratify to know whether or not they need a workup," said Barocas.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Exercise linked to improved bladder cancer survival

May 21, 2014

(HealthDay)—Regular exercise may increase the odds of bladder cancer survival. But smoking and a delay in diagnosis are two factors that might increase the risk of dying from the disease, the findings from ...

Bacteria in urine could contribute to overactive bladder

May 18, 2014

Contrary to popular belief, urine is not sterile and the bacteria in it may be associated with overactive bladder (OAB) in some women, according to research presented today at the annual meeting of the American ...

Recommended for you

Putting the brakes on cancer

12 hours ago

A study led by the University of Dundee, in collaboration with researchers at our University, has uncovered an important role played by a tumour suppressor gene, helping scientists to better understand how ...

Peanut component linked to cancer spread

13 hours ago

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that a component of peanuts could encourage the spread and survival of cancer cells in the body.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.