Bladder Cancer Possibly Undertreated in Elderly Patients

Bladder cancer in elderly and female patients may not be treated adequately, according to British researchers.

A team led by James W. F. Catto, MD, of the University of Sheffield in Sheffield, U.K., identified 3,281 patients from a population-based cancer registry diagnosed with bladder cancer from 1994 to 2009. The study group had a median follow-up of 48 months. At five years after their diagnosis, 1,246 patients (40%) had died: 617 (18.8) from bladder cancer and 629 (19%) from other causes, the investigators reported online ahead of print in the British Journal of Cancer.

The five-year bladder cancer mortality rate ranged from 1% to 59% and the other-cause mortality rate ranged from 6% to 90%, depending mainly on the tumor type and patient age. The oldest patient groups had the highest cancer-specific mortality. In addition, only 12% of patients older than 80 years received radical treatment for invasive cancer compared with 52% of those younger than 60 years, a significant difference between the age groups. Female patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive tumors were more likely to die from the malignancy disease compared with their male counterparts.

“Clinicians should consider offering more aggressive treatment interventions among older patients,” the authors concluded.

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