Rates of Undiagnosed Bladder Cancer in Women Due to

Document technical information

Format pdf
Size 845.8 kB
First found May 22, 2018

Document content analysis

Category Also themed
Language
English
Type
not defined
Concepts
no text concepts found

Persons

Organizations

Places

Transcript

Pacific University
CommonKnowledge
School of Physician Assistant Studies
Theses, Dissertations and Capstone Projects
Summer 8-12-2016
Rates of Undiagnosed Bladder Cancer in Women
Due to Misdiagnosis as Urinary Tract Infection
Kelly Wright
Follow this and additional works at: http://commons.pacificu.edu/pa
Part of the Medicine and Health Sciences Commons
Recommended Citation
Wright, Kelly, "Rates of Undiagnosed Bladder Cancer in Women Due to Misdiagnosis as Urinary Tract Infection" (2016). School of
Physician Assistant Studies. Paper 562.
This Capstone Project is brought to you for free and open access by the Theses, Dissertations and Capstone Projects at CommonKnowledge. It has
been accepted for inclusion in School of Physician Assistant Studies by an authorized administrator of CommonKnowledge. For more information,
please contact [email protected]
Rates of Undiagnosed Bladder Cancer in Women Due to Misdiagnosis as
Urinary Tract Infection
Abstract
Background: Bladder cancer is the seventh-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. Presenting signs
include hematuria and irritative voiding symptoms including dysuria and frequency. Formal evaluation
includes cystoscopy, upper tract imaging, cytology, and urine culture. There is no agreed upon screening
guideline for bladder cancer between the American Urological Association (AUA) and USPSTF. Primary care
providers bear the burden of making the decision when to refer and when to treat in the primary setting. Many
bladder cancers are diagnosed later due to the masking symptoms of UTI, especially in women, resulting in a
delayed diagnosis of cancer, and a later stage of cancer limiting treatment options.
Methods: An exhaustive search of online medical literature was performed using MEDLINE-PubMed, Web
of Science, Google Scholar, and CINAHL-EBSCO. Keywords used included: bladder cancer, urinary tract
infection, hematuria, primary care, and gender disparities. Eligible studies were assessed using the GRADE
criteria.
Results: A total of one hundred sixty seven articles were reviewed, eleven articles read in their entirety, and
two articles met inclusion criteria and were analyzed using the GRADE guidelines. Both studies were
retrospective cohort studies and showed that a delay in diagnosis of bladder cancer is concealed by symptoms
resembling urinary tract infections, especially in women. The overall quality of the studies is very low due to
observational studies. Further studies need to be conducted to improve quality of evidence in regards to the
effects of delayed diagnosis and laxity in following guidelines.
Conclusion: Delaying referral and formal evaluation for the source of urinary tract infections and hematuria
in the primary care setting is delaying the diagnosis of bladder cancer, especially in women. Strict adherence to
the AUA guidelines needs to be followed for referral and evaluation for the source of the irritative symptoms.
Degree Type
Capstone Project
Degree Name
Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
First Advisor
Jennifer VanAtta
Second Advisor
AJ Sommers
Keywords
Bladder Cancer, Hematuria, Urinary Tract Infection
This capstone project is available at CommonKnowledge: http://commons.pacificu.edu/pa/562
Subject Categories
Medicine and Health Sciences
Rights
Terms of use for work posted in CommonKnowledge.
This capstone project is available at CommonKnowledge: http://commons.pacificu.edu/pa/562
Copyright and terms of use
If you have downloaded this document directly from the web or from CommonKnowledge, see the
“Rights” section on the previous page for the terms of use.
If you have received this document through an interlibrary loan/document delivery service, the
following terms of use apply:
Copyright in this work is held by the author(s). You may download or print any portion of this document
for personal use only, or for any use that is allowed by fair use (Title 17, §107 U.S.C.). Except for personal
or fair use, you or your borrowing library may not reproduce, remix, republish, post, transmit, or
distribute this document, or any portion thereof, without the permission of the copyright owner. [Note:
If this document is licensed under a Creative Commons license (see “Rights” on the previous page)
which allows broader usage rights, your use is governed by the terms of that license.]
Inquiries regarding further use of these materials should be addressed to: CommonKnowledge Rights,
Pacific University Library, 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR 97116, (503) 352-7209. Email inquiries
may be directed to:. [email protected]
This capstone project is available at CommonKnowledge: http://commons.pacificu.edu/pa/562
Rates of Undiagnosed Bladder Cancer in Women Due to Misdiagnosis as
Urinary Tract Infection
Abstract
Background: Bladder cancer is the seventh-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. Presenting signs
include hematuria and irritative voiding symptoms including dysuria and frequency. Formal evaluation
includes cystoscopy, upper tract imaging, cytology, and urine culture. There is no agreed upon screening
guideline for bladder cancer between the American Urological Association (AUA) and USPSTF. Primary care
providers bear the burden of making the decision when to refer and when to treat in the primary setting. Many
bladder cancers are diagnosed later due to the masking symptoms of UTI, especially in women, resulting in a
delayed diagnosis of cancer, and a later stage of cancer limiting treatment options.
Methods: An exhaustive search of online medical literature was performed using MEDLINE-PubMed, Web
of Science, Google Scholar, and CINAHL-EBSCO. Keywords used included: bladder cancer, urinary tract
infection, hematuria, primary care, and gender disparities. Eligible studies were assessed using the GRADE
criteria.
Results: A total of one hundred sixty seven articles were reviewed, eleven articles read in their entirety, and
two articles met inclusion criteria and were analyzed using the GRADE guidelines. Both studies were
retrospective cohort studies and showed that a delay in diagnosis of bladder cancer is concealed by symptoms
resembling urinary tract infections, especially in women. The overall quality of the studies is very low due to
observational studies. Further studies need to be conducted to improve quality of evidence in regards to the
effects of delayed diagnosis and laxity in following guidelines.
Conclusion: Delaying referral and formal evaluation for the source of urinary tract infections and hematuria
in the primary care setting is delaying the diagnosis of bladder cancer, especially in women. Strict adherence to
the AUA guidelines needs to be followed for referral and evaluation for the source of the irritative symptoms.
Degree Type
Capstone Project
Degree Name
Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
First Advisor
Jennifer VanAtta
Second Advisor
AJ Sommers
Keywords
Bladder Cancer, Hematuria, Urinary Tract Infection
Rights
Terms of use for work posted in CommonKnowledge.
Copyright and terms of use
If you have downloaded this document directly from the web or from CommonKnowledge, see the
“Rights” section on the previous page for the terms of use.
If you have received this document through an interlibrary loan/document delivery service, the
following terms of use apply:
Copyright in this work is held by the author(s). You may download or print any portion of this document
for personal use only, or for any use that is allowed by fair use (Title 17, §107 U.S.C.). Except for personal
or fair use, you or your borrowing library may not reproduce, remix, republish, post, transmit, or
distribute this document, or any portion thereof, without the permission of the copyright owner. [Note:
If this document is licensed under a Creative Commons license (see “Rights” on the previous page)
which allows broader usage rights, your use is governed by the terms of that license.]
Inquiries regarding further use of these materials should be addressed to: CommonKnowledge Rights,
Pacific University Library, 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR 97116, (503) 352-7209. Email inquiries
may be directed to:. [email protected]
NOTICE TO READERS
This work is not a peer-reviewed publication. The Master’s Candidate author of this
work has made every effort to provide accurate information and to rely on authoritative
sources in the completion of this work. However, neither the author nor the faculty
advisor(s) warrants the completeness, accuracy or usefulness of the information provided
in this work. This work should not be considered authoritative or comprehensive in and
of itself and the author and advisor(s) disclaim all responsibility for the results obtained
from use of the information contained in this work. Knowledge and practice change
constantly, and readers are advised to confirm the information found in this work with
other more current and/or comprehensive sources.
The student author attests that this work is completely his/her original authorship and that
no material in this work has been plagiarized, fabricated or incorrectly attributed.
Higher Rates of Undiagnosed Bladder Cancer in Women Due to
Misdiagnosis as Urinary Tract Infection
Kelly Wright
A Clinical Graduate Project Submitted to the Faculty of the
School of Physician Assistant Studies
Pacific University
Hillsboro, OR
For the Masters of Science Degree, 13 August 2016
Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Van Atta, PA-C
Clinical Graduate Project Coordinator: Annjanette Sommers, PA-C, MS
1
Biography
Kelly Wright is a native of Wyoming where she was born, but she has lived in many other states
and overseas. She graduated with a BA in History from Colorado State University in Fort
Collins, CO, and as time went on her interests turned to her true passions of science and
medicine. Her interest in medicine lies in urology and urologic surgical procedures.
2
Abstract
Background: Bladder cancer is the seventh-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US.
Presenting signs include hematuria and irritative voiding symptoms including dysuria and
frequency. Formal evaluation includes cystoscopy, upper tract imaging, cytology, and urine
culture. There is no agreed upon screening guideline for bladder cancer between the American
Urological Association (AUA) and USPSTF. Primary care providers bear the burden of making
the decision when to refer and when to treat in the primary setting. Many bladder cancers are
diagnosed later due to the masking symptoms of UTI, especially in women, resulting in a
delayed diagnosis of cancer, and a later stage of cancer limiting treatment options.
Methods: An exhaustive search of online medical literature was performed using MEDLINEPubMed, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and CINAHL-EBSCO. Keywords used included:
bladder cancer, urinary tract infection, hematuria, primary care, and gender disparities. Eligible
studies were assessed using the GRADE criteria.
Results: A total of one hundred sixty seven articles were reviewed, eleven articles read in their
entirety, and two articles met inclusion criteria and were analyzed using the GRADE guidelines.
Both studies were retrospective cohort studies and showed that a delay in diagnosis of bladder
cancer is concealed by symptoms resembling urinary tract infections, especially in women. The
overall quality of the studies is very low due to observational studies. Further studies need to be
conducted to improve quality of evidence in regards to the effects of delayed diagnosis and laxity
in following guidelines.
Conclusion: Delaying referral and formal evaluation for the source of urinary tract infections
and hematuria in the primary care setting is delaying the diagnosis of bladder cancer, especially
in women. Strict adherence to the AUA guidelines needs to be followed for referral and
evaluation for the source of the irritative symptoms.
Keywords: Bladder cancer, urinary tract infection, hematuria, primary care, gender disparities
3
Acknowledgements
[Redacted for privacy]
4
Table of Contents
Biography……………………………………………………………………………….…………2
Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………………3
Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………………………..4
Table of Contents………………………………………………………………………………….5
List of Tables……………………………………………………………………………………...6
Background…….………………………………………………………………………………….8
Methods…………………………………………………………………………………………..11
Results……………………………………………………………………………………………11
Discussion………………………………………………………………………………………..13
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………….16
References………………………………………………………………………………………..18
Tables…………………………………………………………………………………………….20
5
List of Tables
Table 1…………………………………………………………...Grade Table for Eligible Studies
Table 2…………………………………………………………………….. Bladder Cancer Stages
Table 3….Baseline patient characteristics and assessment of clinical course from initial symptom
presentation to diagnosis with bladder cancer
Table 4…………………………………………………….Bladder-cancer specific mortality rates
Table 5……………………………………………………………..Baseline patient characteristics
Table 6……...Assessment of clinical course from initial hematuria presentation to diagnosis with
bladder cancer
6
List of Abbreviations
BCa……………………………………………………………………………...…Bladder Cancer
TCC......................................................................................................Transitional Cell Carcinoma
UTI………....………………………………………………………………Urinary Tract Infection
CTU….……………………………………………………………………..................CT Urogram
USPSTF…………………………………………... United States Preventive Services Task Force
AUA…………………………………………………………….American Urological Association
ACA………………………………………………………………...American Cancer Association
SEER……………………………………………….Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results
7
Higher Rates of Undiagnosed Bladder Cancer in Women Due to Misdiagnosis as Urinary
Tract Infection
Background
Bladder cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, ninth in women,
and the seventh-leading cause of cancer-related deaths. 1 Approximately 71 000 cases were
diagnosed in 2009. “Approximately 14 330 people died of the disease (10 180 men and 4150
women). One fourth of all cases of bladder cancer and 20% to 40% of all invasive tumors have
already metastasized to the lymph nodes at the time of diagnosis.” 2 The question arises as to
why this cancer has metastasized to the nodes by the time of diagnosis. There is no agreed
screening for bladder cancer among the various disciplines in medicine. It is diagnosed typically
upon presentation of irritative voiding symptoms or hematuria. Irritative voiding symptoms
include urgency, frequency, and dysuria. These symptoms mimic those of a urinary tract
infection. Hematuria is either gross or microscopic and is typically discovered incidentally.
Microhematuria can be discovered on a urine dip-stick during a primary care screening
leading the primary care provider (PCP) to treat empirically as a urinary tract infection, or
sending the urine for culture and sensitivity for further diagnostic evaluation. Many patients
presenting with microscopic hematuria in the primary care setting are not evaluated fully
according to American Urological Association (AUA) guideline. 3 According to the Elias et al
study4, “subjects at high risk for bladder cancer based on greater than 10 years of smoking or
environmental exposure with microscopic hematuria are rarely evaluated thoroughly and only
12.8% were referred for urologic evaluation.” With this low percentage for formal evaluation,
many cases of bladder cancer are missed or diagnosed later resulting in a higher stage of bladder
cancer at time of diagnosis and higher mortality rates due to this delay.
8
The AUA defines asymptomatic microhematuria (AMH) as “three or greater red blood
cells (RBC) per high powered field (HPF) on a properly collected urinary specimen in the
absence of an obvious benign cause. A positive dipstick does not define AMH, and evaluation
should be based solely on findings from microscopic examination of urinary sediment and not on
a dipstick reading. A positive dipstick reading merits microscopic examination to confirm or
refute the diagnosis of AMH.” 3 The gold standard, according to the AUA, for microhematuria
evaluation includes a cystoscopy, upper tract imaging (such as a CT urogram), and cytology.
Urine cultures are typically sent to rule out a urinary tract infection. 3 The cystoscopy is a direct
visualization of the bladder using a camera that is inserted through the urethra into the bladder.
This allows for bladder wall sampling with a biopsy if there are any lesions or suspicious regions
warranting further evaluation. A CT urogram is a CT scan performed with and without IV
contrast examining the kidneys and ureters for potential source for the hematuria or even
discovery of a mass in the upper tract. A urine cytology should include either an NMP-22 or a
bladder wash/first morning void for cytology investigating for atypical or cancer cells in the
urine. A urine culture would be sent to rule out urinary tract infections.
There is always risk with any procedure and potential of incidental findings on
diagnostics requiring further evaluation. Cystoscopy can introduce bacteria or further the
hematuria; it can even puncture the bladder wall if not performed by a licensed provider trained
in urologic procedures. CT scans expose patients to potentially unnecessary radiation and the
expense of the image study could be more than people can afford or wish to prioritize as an
expense in their budget. CT scans may also reveal an additional pathology not associated with
the hematuria requiring further evaluation or specialty referral. Urine cytologies and cultures are
non-invasive labs; however, they have a financial cost, as well as the possibility of a false-
9
positive or false-negative or reveal an incidental finding of a potentially benign pathology that
requires even further diagnostic evaluation, creating even more of a financial burden. The line is
fine as to when to delve into diagnostics and when to treat the patient and not the labs.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) may present with microhematuria, gross hematuria,
urgency, frequency, and dysuria. The gold standard for urinary tract infection diagnosis includes
a culture and sensitivity. Many PCP treat UTIs empirically, meaning treating with antibiotics
before a culture has returned with definitive growth or no growth in the urine. This is routinely
seen in the PCP setting for patient comfort to treat them as quickly as possible due to the
discomfort experienced during a UTI. Women are treated on an average of three courses of
antibiotics before referral to urology for formal evaluation. They are typically referred for
recurrent urinary tract infection and not hematuria. The AUA best practice policy states that
“patients at high-risk for bladder cancer (especially those with a history of smoking or chemical
exposure) should be considered for a full urologic evaluation after 1 properly performed
urinalysis documenting the presence of at least 3 RBC per HPF.” 3 The lack of referral to urology
for a complete evaluation is not performed routinely and uniformly in most PCP settings.
Urinary tract infections or irritative voiding symptoms such as dysuria or frequency could
be presenting signs of a bladder tumor masking the underlying diagnosis that could be a
symptomatic bladder cancer (BCa). Furthermore, “men with hematuria are 65% more likely to
receive urological referral compared with women, who are more likely to be treated for UTI or
referred for gynecological evaluation.” 5 Women are typically treated as having a benign
pathology when compared to men presenting with hematuria or irritative voiding symptoms; this
could lead to a later diagnosis of BCa in women when compared to men. Many of these cases
10
involved in research do not include CIS bladder cancer. CIS can lead to high-grade cancer if not
treated.
Treatment for bladder cancer includes intra-vesicle chemotherapy instillations (eg,
valrubicin, BCG, and/or mitomycin), radiation, and surgery (including tumor resections and
cystectomy). Many of the low-grade bladder cancers can be eradicated with in-office
cystoscopies using fulguration or simple extraction with clamshell biopsy. Surveillance protocol
is initiated and outcomes for recurrence are low. However, if the diagnosis is delayed, the
treatment options change drastically to more invasive treatments and potentially, non-treatable.
The prompt referral to urology is imperative so diagnosis can be made sooner with hopes of
better outcomes and lower mortality rates. A simple UTI may not be so simple. The question is,
could untreated bladder cancer in women be higher due to its misdiagnosis as urinary tract
infection in the primary care setting?
Methods
Exhaustive search of available medical literature using the following search engines:
MEDLINE (PubMed), CINAHL, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Key terms searched
included hematuria, urinary tract infection, bladder cancer, bladder neoplasms, and gender
disparities. Eligible criteria included studies that compared men and women, used urinary tract
infection as the presenting symptom, had a final diagnosis of bladder cancer, and were published
in English utilizing human participants. All studies were analyzed using the GRADE criteria. 6
Results
The search resulted in a total of 167 articles that were reviewed. Eleven articles read in
their entirety. After applying the eligibility criteria, two articles remained. 7, 8 (See Table 1)
11
Richards et al
The Richards et al study7 examines gender disparities and delay in diagnosis of bladder
cancer due to presenting symptoms similar to urinary tract infection. This is a retrospective
cohort study of 39 211 patients with qualifying inclusion criteria, 12 195 were Medicare
enrollees with 23% women, 90% Caucasian. Subjects chosen were at least sixty-six years old or
older, enrolled in Medicare, and were registered in Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results
(SEER) between 2007 and 2009. Hematuria was the primary presenting symptom in this study.
Hematuria of one year or less from other sources including kidney stones, actual infection,
pyelonephritis, or other non-specific etiologies was excluded. More women than men presented
with hematuria with 81.4% compared to 60.5% respectively. This study determined the mean
time from hematuria or UTI claim to BCa diagnosis was 72.2 days for women and 58.9 days for
men. Time to diagnosis of 2-3 months, 6 months, and 6-12 months increased the odds of at least
a grade of pathology T2 (see Table 2) compared with time to diagnosis less than 30 days.
Women were more likely than men to have at least one urine culture on file and be treated
empirically with antibiotics. There is a greater likelihood of men and women presenting with
UTI symptoms than presenting only with hematuria. There was no association between time to
diagnosis and node positivity regardless of sex. 7 Refer to Tables 3 and 4 for further information
and data.
Cohn et al
The Cohn et al study8 addressed potential reasons why women have a disproportionately
higher mortality rate after diagnosis of bladder cancer. This is a retrospective population-based
12
study looking at timing of presentation (UTI or hematuria) to diagnosis. This study also
examines the date of presentation to the final diagnosis of bladder cancer by gender. This study
consisted of 7 649 participants, 5 416 men and 2 233 women. The mean age of men was 55.7
(+/- 7.8 years), women 57.0 (+/-7.2 years). The average timing from presentation of hematuria to
diagnosis of bladder cancer for men was 73.6 days and 85.4 days for women. Women were
diagnosed more than men with UTI with an odds ration (OR) of 2.32 (95% CI 2.07-2.59).
Women were less likely than men to have a formal evaluation with upper tract imaging with an
OR of 0.80 (CI 95% 0.71-0.89). Women had a greater prevalence of a microscopic hematuria
diagnosis than men with 1.39 (CI 95% +/- 1.61) with men 1.19 (+/- 1.35). Women had greater
incidence of urine culture with 0.83 (+/- 1.20) compared to men 0.53 (+/- 0.86). Finally, women
had a higher incidence of greater than three courses of antibiotics compared to men 33.1% to
17.6%, respectively. More men had upper tract imaging that women with 77.3% of men and
73.1% women receiving imaging. Those with a diagnosis of UTI had an associated delay of 27.9
days (CI 95% 23.0-32.7). See Tables 5 and 6 for further data. 8
Discussion
Could untreated bladder cancer in women be higher due to its misdiagnosis as urinary
tract infection in the primary care setting? In the presentation at the AUA in July 2015 by KA
Richards, the author claimed delayed diagnosis is an issue due to misdiagnosis. 9 The irritative
symptoms that could be caused by a tumor can easily be mistaken for a UTI. However, at what
point are primary care providers delaying the referral due to potential inconvenience of
conflicting schedules and insurance prior authorities? At what point are primary care providers
hesitating on sending labs to rule in or rule out a diagnosis instead of treating assumed infections
empirically with antibiotics? Are primary care providers delaying ordering an upper tract study
13
to investigate a potential source for hematuria? Primary care providers are in a difficult situation
of making the “correct” diagnosis and decision to refer out or to treat in office. A simple UTI is
just that, simple. The implications for missing a more severe diagnosis are profound though. By
following the guidelines the provider could prevent the later diagnosis of high-grade bladder
cancer (>T2).
UTI symptomatology is similar enough to that of a bladder tumor and can be masking the
diagnosis of bladder cancer. The masking of the symptoms greatly delays the referral to specialty
for further evaluation. The Richards’ et al study7 is the first to address UTI signs and symptoms
as the presenting factor to bladder cancer, specifically evaluating how gender disparities impact
the time of diagnosis to success in treatment. A delay by only 40 days can deeply impact the
outcomes negatively. Moreover, this study found that women presenting with T1 died relatively
sooner than men with UTI and patients presenting with hematuria regardless of sex for bladder
cancer specific and all cause survival. 7 The Cohn et al study8 determined that women had a two
week delay in diagnosis when compared to men and a 15% delay from presentation to diagnosis
in the 6 month interval, and a 25% delay in 9 months and greater intervals. “While most patients
have non-invasive urothelial cell carcinoma at diagnosis, up to 50% will have high grade
disease.” 8 Cohn et al study did include reference to in situ carcinoma stating that patients should
have a cytology performed at the minimum for irritative symptoms, persistent microhematuria,
tobacco use, and chemical exposure. All of these findings greatly emphasize the importance of
following the bladder cancer guidelines to evaluate for potential malignancies, specifically in
women.
Is there a right answer or guideline to follow regarding referral and treatment? There is
constant discourse between the USPSTF and the specialty guidelines, such as the American
14
Cancer Association and American Urological Association. The USPSTF is not aggressive in
screening and diagnostics for bladder cancer; whereas the ACA and AUA have a lower threshold
for formal evaluation. If primary care providers had a lower threshold for referral, bladder cancer
could be diagnosed sooner and there would be more treatment options for patients. Guidelines
need to be followed more stringently and should have greater follow-through with referrals and
diagnostics. Diagnosing bladder cancer earlier will offer more treatment options in the earlier
stages of bladder cancer, lowering mortality rates in women. Primary care providers need to have
a lower threshold for investigating the source of infection and hematuria, discussing the
implications with their patients, and including the patients in the decision for diagnostics or
empirical treatment. Avoiding the differential diagnosis of bladder cancer in lieu of the easier
diagnosis of infection or irritative voiding is not serving patients in their best interest and limits
future treatment options and ultimately mortality.
The limitations of the Richards’ et al study7 address potential coding errors of UTI signs
and symptoms, hematuria, microhematuria, and irritative signs and symptoms that could be
concealing a tumor. Only insured patients were accounted for and must be enrolled in SEER with
a bladder cancer diagnosis and hematuria or UTI as presenting symptom; self-pay patients and
those that were not enrolled in SEER were not counted for in the studies. Smoking, family
history, and chemical exposure were not fully addressed in the studies. Age range included 66
and older; younger patients were excluded. Studies did not evaluate for in situ, which could
become high-grade transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) if left untreated.
Limitations of the Cohn et al study8 included only privately insured patients and not those
on Medicare or uninsured. This eliminates a large majority of greater than 65 year olds that are at
higher risk for UTI and bladder cancer and also under represents those that are uninsured. There
15
was an assumption that those that are younger would represent the older population, as well.
Bladder cancer tends to present later in life and is not common in those under 65 years. A larger
cohort study is required to encompass a broader spectrum of patients presenting with UTI,
hematuria, or irritative symptoms. “Women ultimately diagnosed with bladder cancer were 2.29
(95% CI 1.97-2.67) times as likely to undergo three or more primary care visits for hematuria
prior to urologic referral.” 10 Cohn et al study8 claims that UTI was the single most dominant
predictor delaying the final diagnosis of bladder cancer and that only a fraction of primary
providers referred to urology for further evaluation.
Future studies need to be conducted for validation. Studies including in situ carcinoma,
broader age spectrum, privately insured and non-insured patients, and social factors need to be
addressed. Future research would emphasize the importance of early detection of bladder cancer
and not ignoring the easy diagnosis of a bladder infection or irritative symptoms of no etiology.
Using the Richards et al and Cohn et al studies7, 8 as a foundation for further research will
hopefully decrease the mortality rates due to bladder cancer by establishing guidelines for earlier
referral and earlier detection.
Conclusion
Urinary tract infection in women and men can conceal the underlying etiology of bladder
cancer. Understandably, not everyone with a UTI is referred to urology for a formal evaluation;
however, it is important to not ignore the signs and symptoms of something potentially much
more dangerous and with an insidious onset. Perhaps women are more likely to ignore the
underlying cause of the UTI and simply live with the diagnosis of bacterial infection or irritated
bladder without considering a more serious diagnosis of bladder cancer whereas men are not as
tolerant of UTI or hematuria and press for referral to urology. Perhaps providers are more likely
16
to use the diagnosis of UTI in women and push for referral for men due to the lower threshold
for infection in men. There are many reasons and rationales as to why women are not referred as
quickly for formal evaluation as men. This needs to be pursued further even though the reasons
may have bias in clinical judgment and reasoning. The findings from the studies reviewed
established that there is a delay in diagnosis of bladder cancer in women relating to cancer
symptoms being mistaken as UTIs. Therefore, close adherence to the AUA guidelines is strongly
recommended.
Keywords: Bladder cancer, urinary tract infection, hematuria, primary care, gender disparities
17
References
1. ACA. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/bladdercancer/detailedguide/bladder-cancerstaging. Accessed November 16, 2015.
2. USPSTF Final Recommendation Statement: Bladder Cancer in Adults: Screening. U.S.
Preventive Services Task Force. October 2014. Available at:
http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/
bladder-cancer-in-adults-screening. Accessed November 16, 2015.
3. Davis R, Jones S, Baroca D. Available at:
http://www.auanet.org/education/guidelines/asymptomatic-microhematuria.cfm. Accessed
November 16, 2016.
4. Elias K, Svatek RS, Gupta S, Ho R, Lotan Y. High-risk patients with hematuria are not
evaluated according to guideline recommendations. Cancer. 2010;116:2954-2959.
5. Johnson EK, Daignault S, Zhang Y, Lee CT. Patterns of hematuria referral to urologists: does
a gender disparity exist? <br />. Urology. 2008;72:498.
6. GRADE working group. Available at: http://gradeworkinggroup.org. Accessed November 15,
2015.
7. Richards KA, Ham S, Cohn JA, Steinberg GD. Urinary tract infection-like symptom is
associated with worse bladder cancer outcomes in the Medicare population: Implications for sex
disparities. Int J Urol [Main resource]. 2015.
18
8. Cohn JA, Vekhter B, Lyttle C, Steinberg GD, Large MC. Sex disparities in diagnosis of
bladder cancer after initial presentation with hematuria: a nationwide claims-based investigation.
Cancer. 2014;120:555-561.
9. Richards K, Ham S, Cohn J, Steinberg G. Urinary tract infection is associated with worse
bladder cancer outcomes in the Medicare population: Implications for sex disparities . Available
at: www.aua2015.org/abstracts/f…. Accessed November 15, 2015.
10. Lyratzopoulos G, Abel G, McPhail S, Neal R, Rubin G. Gender inequalities in the
promptness of diagnosis of bladder and renal cancer after symptomatic presentation: evidence
from secondary analysis of an English primary care audit survey.<br />. BMJ Open
[doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002861.]. 2013;3:6.
19
Tables
Table 1. Grade Table for Eligible Studies
Study
Design
Limitations
Richards et
al7
Cohn et al8
Indirectness
Downgrade Criteria
Inconsistency Imprecision
a,b
Not Serious
Publication
bias
Not Serious
b,c
Not Serious
Not Serious
Cohort,
Serious
Not Serious Not Serious
Observational
Cohort,
Serious
Not Serious Not Serious
Observational
a Excluded younger at risk participants and only included Medicare
b Lack accounting of social factors which could be confounders
c Excluder older at risk participants and only included private insurances
Upgrade
Criteria
No
No
Table 2. Bladder Cancer Stages1
Stage
Description
Stage 0a (Ta, N0, M0)
Non-invasive papillary carcinoma, No nodes, No distant sites
Stage 0is (Tis, N0, M0)
Non-invasive, flat carcinoma (Tis) or carcinoma in situ (CIS).
Growth in the inner lining layers of the bladder. No nodes, no
distant sites
Growth into the layer of connective tissue under the lining. No
nodes, no distant sites
Stage I (T1, N0, M0)
Stage II (T2, N0, M0)
Stage III (T3, N0, M0)
Stage IV (T4, N0, M0)
Stage IV (T4, N1-3, M0)
Stage IV (T, N, M1)
Growth into the thick muscle layer of the bladder, but not
through the layer into the fatty tissue surrounding the bladder
(T2 is fatty tissue invasive). No nodes, or distant sites
Growth through the muscle layer through the fatty tissue
surrounding the bladder. Potentially spreading to the prostate,
uterus, or vagina. No nodes, or distant sites
T4b N0, M0: Cancer has grown through the bladder wall and
into the pelvic or abdominal wall.
Any T, N1 to N3, M0: cancer has spread to nearby lymph
nodes (N1-N3) but not to distant sites (M0)
Any T, Any N, M1: Cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes
or to sites such as bones, liver, or lungs
20
Table 3. Baseline patient characteristics and assessment of clinical course from
initial symptom presentation to diagnosis with bladder cancer7
Men (n = 9326)
Women (n = 2869)
Mean age, years (95% CI)
76.6 (76.4–76.8)
78.2 (77.9–78.5)
<0.0001
Days from symptoms to bladder cancer diagnosis, mean (95% CI)
58.9 (57.3–60.5)
72.2 (69.0–75.4)
<0.0001
≤1 month
53.6 (5004)
45.9 (1317)
2–3 months
26.7 (2488)
28.0 (804)
3–6 months
9.6 (896)
12.7 (364)
6–12 months
10.1 (938)
13.4 (384)
White
91.3 (8514)
89.0 (2552)
Black
4.0 (373)
6.0 (172)
Hispanic
1.1 (103)
1.6 (45)
Other
3.6 (336)
3.5 (100)
81.4 (7591)
60.5 (1736)
<0.0001
Time to diagnosis, % (n)
<0.0001
Race/ethnicity, % (n)
Initial diagnosis was hematuria, % (n)
P-value
<0.0001
0.15
Year of initial diagnosis, % (n)
2007
37.2 (3470)
37.5 (1076)
2008
35.7 (3329)
37.1 (1064)
2009
27.1 (2527)
25.4 (729)
Lives in MSA
82.1 (7657)
84.4 (2421)
Does not live in MSA
17.9 (1669)
15.6 (448)
0.004
Metropolitan statistical area (census 2000), % (n)
<0.0001
Charlson Co-morbidity Index, % (n)
0
56.0 (5222)
62.2 (1784)
1
26.4 (2462)
24.2 (694)
2
10.3 (961)
8.7 (250)
≥3
7.3 (681)
4.9 (141)
Urine culture sent, mean (CI)
0.83 (0.81–0.85)
1.32 (1.27–1.37)
<0.0001
Antibiotic prescribed, % (n)
23.4 (2184)
35.5 (1018)
<0.0001
Any abdominal/pelvic imaging, % (n)
76.8 (7166)
79.4 (2279)
0.004
Urine cytology sent, % (n)
38.0 (3540)
39.2 (1124)
0.21
Infectious work-up
Malignant work-up
21
Table 4. Bladder-cancer specific mortality rates7
Bladder-cancer specific
mortality
95% CI
HR
Overall mortality
P-Value
HR
95% CI
P-Value
Also controlled for tumor stage, age, race, CCI, number of hematuria claims and census tract-level income.
Women
Presenting symptom
Hematuria
Ref
Ref
UTI
1.37
(1.10–1.71)
Ref
Ref
0.005
1.47
(1.28–1.69)
<0.0001
Time to diagnosis
<30 days
Ref
Ref
Ref
Ref
2–3 months
0.85
(0.67–1.09)
0.21
0.81
(0.70–0.95)
0.008
3–6 months
0.91
(0.67–1.24)
0.55
0.82
(0.67–1.00)
0.06
6–12 months
0.98
(0.71–1.34)
0.88
1.03
(0.85–1.25)
0.76
Hematuria
Ref
Ref
Ref
Ref
UTI
1.5
(1.28–1.77)
1.39
(1.28–1.52)
<30 days
Ref
Ref
Ref
Ref
2–3 months
0.85
(0.72–1.00)
0.05
0.88
(0.81–0.96)
0.003
3–6 months
0.92
(0.72–1.16)
0.47
1.12
(0.99–1.26)
0.07
6–12 months
0.89
(0.70–1.13)
0.34
1.1
(0.97–1.24)
0.13
Men
Presenting symptom
<0.0001
<0.0001
Time to diagnosis
Table 5. Baseline patient characteristics8
Age, years (95% CI)
Charlson Comorbidity Index score (95% CI)
From metropolitan statistical area
Number of hematuria visits (95% CI)
Hematuria ICD-9 code
Hematuria unspecified
Gross hematuria
Microscopic hematuria
Men
(N=5416)
57.0 (56.8–57.2)
0.52 (0.50–0.55)
81.5%
2.74 (2.70–2.79)
Women
(N=2233)
55.7 (55.4–56.1)
0.46 (0.43–0.50)
83.9%
2.74 (2.67–2.81)
P-value
85.8%
9.2%
5.0%
85.1%
7.5%
7.4%
0.41
0.02
<0.001
<0.001
0.004
0.01
0.46
22
Table 6. Assessment of clinical course from initial hematuria presentation to
diagnosis with bladder cancer8
Delay in diagnosis of bladder cancer from presentation with hematuria
Mean no. days from hematuria presentation to bladder cancer diagnosis (95%
CI)
Median no. days from hematuria presentation to bladder cancer diagnosis (IQR)
Delay < 3 months, n (%)
Delay 3 to 6 months, n (%)
Delay 6 to 9 months, n (%)
Delay 9 to 12 months, n (%)
Infectious work-up
Urinalysis sent
Mean no. of urinalyses sent (95% CI)
Urine culture sent
Mean no. of urine cultures sent (95% CI)
UTI claim present
Any antibiotic filled
Malignant work-up
Any abdominal/pelvic imaging
Cytology sent
Men
Women
P-value
73.6 (71.2–76.1)
85.4 (81.3–89.4)
<0.001
35 (15, 88.5)
4068 (75.1)
583 (10.8)
379 (7.0)
386 (7.1)
41 (17, 117)
1538 (68.9)
308 (13.8)
177 (7.9)
210 (9.4)
<0.001
<0.001
65.8%
1.19 (1.16–1.45)
38.5%
0.53 (0.51–0.55)
17.6%
35.4%
67.8%
1.39 (1.16–1.23)
49.8%
0.83 (0.78–0.88)
33.1%
40.1%
0.11
<0.001
<0.001
<0.001
<0.001
<0.001
77.3%
36.0%
73.1%
39.0%
<0.001
0.01
23
×

Report this document