Health Watch - Finding Cancer: Bladder Cancer Screening

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about finding cancer and making treatment decisions. Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men, and it’s nearly undetectable in its earliest stages, which affects the ability to effectively treat it.

Dr. Yair Lotan, a urologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says regular screenings aren’t part of care for bladder cancer. So far, screening hasn’t been effective enough to warrant the increased cost. Researchers are trying to pinpoint the highest-risk groups that would most benefit from screening. Older men who smoke are at highest risk, and a recent study evaluated a group of men in this risk group. The screening found only a few cases of bladder cancer among men who didn’t have symptoms. Researchers plan more study to narrow in on risk groups who would most benefit from screening. The best way to prevent bladder cancer is to not smoke. If you notice blood in the urine, contact your doctor. 

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August 2009

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