Expert: U.S. bladder cancer care gets 'F'

July 13, 2011 at 12:39 PM

LOS ANGELES, July 13 (UPI) -- U.S. patients with non-invasive bladder cancer are not receiving the guideline-recommended care that would best protect them from recurrence, researchers say.

Dr. Karim Chamie, a postdoctoral fellow in urologic oncology at the University of California, Los Angeles Health Sciences, says out of the 4,545 bladder cancer patients involved in the study, only one received the comprehensive care recommended by the American Urology Association and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

"We were surprised by the findings in this study, particularly in an era when many suggest that doctors over-treat patients and do too much in the name of practicing defensive medicine," Chamie, the study's lead author, says in a statement.

"This study suggests quite the contrary, that we don't do enough for patients with bladder cancer. If this was a report card on bladder cancer care in America, I'd say we're earning a failing grade."

The study, published in the early online edition of Cancer, found that non-compliance knew no boundaries and that patient-level factors such as age, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status had very little impact, but was primarily attributed to urologists.

"It all came down to who their doctor was," Chamie says.

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