Risky Questions Produce Better Cancer Answers

Bladder cancer questionnaire identifies high risk patients early

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Ideally, doctors would like a way to prevent cancer, but catching it as early as possible is the next best thing. For cancers that occur deep in the abdomen, like bladder cancer, it's a difficult task.

Urologists from the University Clinic of Giessen and Marburg GmbH presenting at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting outlined their research into changing the typical course of bladder cancer.

It is frequently diagnosed when a patient finds blood in the urine, a sign of advanced cancer progression.

"Ask your oncologist about cancer screenings."

The team was led by German urologist Gerson Luedecke, MD, created a questionnaire called RiskCheck.

Dr. Luedecke concluded that using the survey routinely in urology offices was far more effective in identifying early cases of bladder cancer than the current practice of waiting for symptoms to show up.

Other studies on bladder cancers have shown that at the time of diagnosis, a quarter of these bladder cancers have advanced into later stages, typically beginning to grow into the abdomen. This makes any attempts at a straight-forward surgical removal difficult, and complicates therapy.

After collecting data from 196 patients, the urologists identified the most important criteria that identified patients at high risk of developing bladder cancer.

Researchers hope to formally develop these standards to use in wide-spread screening to catch bladder cancers earlier, when surgical removal has the best chance of success.

Data from the study shows that widespread use of their cheap and effective survey would be far more effective in screening for early cases of bladder cancer than the current practice waiting for symptoms to appear.

The implication from the study data is that the at-risk population for bladder cancer is about 13.2 percent of current urology patients.

During their presentation the researchers stated their questionnaire had a sensitivity of roughly 64 percent and a specificity of roughly 70 percent for detecting bladder cancer.

Findings from studies presented at conferences are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Researchers from the study disclosed financial relationships with several corporations, including Alere, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Amgen, Astellas Pharma and Ferring.

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Review Date: 
June 11, 2012
Last Updated:
June 18, 2012