08/28/2009 - News

Hospital experience improves bladder cancer outcome

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Post-operative complications can be reduced after bladder removal by choosing a hospital with experience and a high nurse-patient ratio.

The standard treatment for invasive bladder cancer, which causes 13,000 deaths a year in the US, is removal of the bladder. The operation itself has a mortality rate of two per cent and it is classed as moderate risk. Previous research has shown a clear survival benefit for patients having high-risk cancer surgery if they go to an experienced hospital. It has not been clear if there is the same benefit for moderate risk surgery.

A team at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has looked at data for 1302 bladder cancer patients having surgery at 113 hospitals. The overall death rate was 2.2 per cent and 12 per cent had post-op complications. But where a hospital performed more than ten bladder removals a year, the mortality and complication rates were much lower. And those hospitals who had a high nurse to patient ratio also had a 50 per cent lower mortality, regardless of how many bladder removal operations were carried out. The findings have significant implications for those seeking treatment for bladder cancer.



Cancer online 25th July 2005 (print 1st September)

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Created on: 07/25/2005
Reviewed on: 08/28/2009

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