03/31/2006 - News

A delay in surgery for bladder cancer can increase mortality risk

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


A delay in surgery for bladder cancer can increase mortality risk

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A comparison shows that survival is worse if surgery for invasive bladder cancer is delayed more than 93 days after diagnosis.
Surgery is the usual treatment for bladder cancer, a disease which kills 13,000 Americans each year. A study from the University of Michigan now looks at the effect of the timing of this surgery.

They investigated the outcome for 214 patients diagnosed with muscle-invasive bladder cancer and treated with radical cystectomy, a procedure in which the whole bladder is removed. Those in which the surgery was delayed more than 93 days after diagnosis had a worse outcome than those who had the operation earlier.

Thirty nine per cent of those without a delay died, compared to 54 per cent of those with a delay. Patients whose surgery was delayed lived, on average, only one year, and had a three year survival rate of 38 per cent. The three year survival rate for those whose surgery was not delayed was 51 per cent. The time from diagnosis to surgery ranged from four days to 175 days, with 26 patients having a delay of more than 93 days. Many of the reasons for delay, such as scheduling issues, are reversible and need to be addressed so that those with bladder cancer have the best chance of survival.

Journal of Urology April 2006

Created on: 03/31/2006
Reviewed on: 03/31/2006

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