Delays in the diagnosis and initial treatment of bladder cancer in Western Australia

In Australia, bladder cancer is the only cancer type in which survival is deteriorating. Over the past 30 years the five-year survival has dropped from 68 to 58%. This study has focused on attempting to quantify the delays in the diagnosis and initial treatment of patients with bladder cancer in Western Australia. Patients were retrospectively recruited through records at a public hospital based haematuria clinic. Of the 151 patients diagnosed with a bladder tumour 100 patients were suitable and agreed to participate. Both patients and their GPs were interviewed using proforma-led, semi-structured telephone interviews. Data about patient demographics, tumour histopathology, presentation, referral and treatment were also collected. Over 20% of patients waited more than two weeks after first noticing their haematuria before presenting to their GP. Additionally, another 21% of patients were still smoking at the time of their interview. Participant awareness about bladder cancer before their diagnsosis was relatively poor. Overall, reasons for prolonged waiting times included poor public awareness, patient fear and anxiety, delayed and non-referral from primary care, administrative delays, and resource limitations.   Read the full article here.
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