Fewer Bladder Problems for the Active, AUA Study Says

UCSD Clinical Instructor for the Society of Urological Oncology Fellow Michael Liss worked on a six-year study whose findings show that increased levels of phyiscal activity lessen the chance of contracting or dying from bladder cancer.

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According to two new studies conducted by the American Urological Association, physical activity may be associated with a decreased risk in bladder cancer mortality and how women may be subject to worse outcomes from bladder cancer. These findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held in Orlando, Florida from May 16 to 21.

The National Health Information Survey, with the aid of UCSD’s clinical instructor for the Society of Urological Oncology Fellow Michael Liss, conducted the experiment by gathering information from 1998 to 2004 on 222,163 individuals. Participants were asked questions about their health, such as whether they “did no exercise” versus “light, moderate or vigorous exercises.”

Individuals who reported “any physical activity” were 53 percent less likely to die of general bladder cancer than those who do not exercise. Former smokers were three times as likely to die of bladder cancer, and current smokers were over four times as likely as well.

The researchers identified 83 bladder cancer-specific deaths and found that bladder cancer mortality was not associated with being overweight or obesity compared with normal weight.

From the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, Dr. Jeffrey Bassett and other colleagues aided in the examination of 9,220 Medicare A and B beneficiaries to determine the relationship between gender, race and the completeness of hematuria evaluation.

These studies found that women are less likely to undergo a hematuria evaluation, which may lead to worse outcomes for women who would be later diagnosed with cancerous tumors in the bladder. Hematuria is the presence of blood in the urine and is the most common sign of bladder cancer. A hematuria evaluation entails a full physical examination of the patient that includes laboratory and imaging studies.

Conducted in a multivariable analysis, the results reported that females are less likely than males to be seen by an urologist and undergo diagnostic procedures or imaging. Females were also less likely to have an in-depth assessment in the form of a workup. A complete workup of a patient’s blood by a physician can identify if certain red blood cells exist within the urine.

Inadequate hematuria evaluations might be a contributing factor to a worse outcome for females diagnosed with bladder cancer.

“Our data demonstrates that female Medicare beneficiaries are less likely to undergo a hematuria evaluation,” Bassett and other colleagues said in the evaluation of the data. “[Females] may therefore be less likely to receive a definitive urologic diagnosis, even when one is present.”

 

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