About half of all bladder cancers detected each year in the United States are non-invasive, while around one in three spreads to deeper cell layers in the bladder wall. In the remaining cases, the cancer most often spreads to tissue near the bladder or lymph nodes outside of the bladder. Approximately four percent of newly diagnosed bladder cancer cases are advanced or metastatic diseases.
Nearly nine out of ten people with bladder cancer are 55 years or over, and the average age at diagnosis is 73. Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women. The disease is more prevalent in Whites than Blacks or Hispanics. Depending on existing risk factors, the lifetime chance of developing bladder cancer is one in 27 for men and one in 89 for women.
The most common risk factors for bladder cancer include smoking, workplace exposure, use of certain medications or herbal supplements, and the presence of arsenic in the drinking water. Bladder birth defects, urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney/bladder stones, long-term bladder catheters, and chronic bladder irritation have also been linked to bladder cancer (particularly squamous cell carcinoma.
A mark of a cohesive multidisciplinary cancer care team is the development and utilization of effective patient education practices and resources. Many cancer care teams embrace a patient-centered multidisciplinary care approach. Research continues to affirm its effectiveness.
For this education project, ACCC will research the barriers cancer care teams face when engaging patients in treatment and surveillance. Examples will be provided to show the impact of disparities in care and the costs of delaying treatment. Additionally, ACCC will develop operational tools for providers to use to implement changes in their programs and communities, ACCC will offer real-world examples of best practices in screening and identifying patients with bladder cancer, as well as strategies for delivering quality care to underserved populations.
For more information on this project, please contact the ACCC Provider Education department.
This article explores disparities in bladder cancer, including data collected through a 2021 Bladder Cancer Economic Study by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC). It offers practical and operational tips for oncology care team members to manage underserved patients with bladder cancer.