The following article features coverage from the American Urological Association (AUA) 2019 meeting. Click here to read more of Renal & Urology News’ conference coverage.

CHICAGO—Patients diagnosed with a psychiatric illness following a diagnosis of muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) are at higher risk of death, study findings presented at the 2019 American Urological Association annual meeting suggest.

In a study of 4247 patients with MIBC identified using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database, 1510 (35%) received a mental health diagnosis at a median of 5 to 6 months after their cancer diagnosis, Omar Ayyash, MD, MPH, of the University of Pittsburgh, and his team reported. The most common diagnoses were depression (13%), alcohol and drug abuse (12%), and anxiety (11%). Other diagnoses included delirium; schizophrenic disorders; acute reaction to stress or adjustment disorder; sleeping, eating, and tic disorders; conduct disorder, psychogenic disorders; and personality disorders.

Patients diagnosed with a psychiatric illness after their cancer diagnosis, compared with those who were not, had a 1.7-fold increased likelihood of death overall and nearly 2-fold increased risk of cancer-related death. Palliative care did not appear to reduce mortality risk for patients with any of the psychiatric disorders.

“Bladder cancer is a devastating illness with significant morbidity, even after treatment, that can impact quality of life and mental health,” Dr Ayyash told Renal & Urology News. “We believe our research supports the growing body of evidence that advocates for addressing the non-oncologic needs of the patient to further optimize survival outcomes. Such an approach would expand the current multi-disciplinary model of cancer treatment to include more frequent use of palliative care services and prompt referrals to psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.”

Read more of Renal & Urology News’ coverage of the AUA 2019 meeting by visiting the conference page.


Ayyash O, Yabes J, Hugar L, et al. New psychiatric diagnosis is a poor prognostic factor for patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer. Presented at the 2019 American Urological Association annual meeting held May 3-6 I in Chicago. Abstract MP05-17.