Bladder cancer: Studies shed light on screening; new awarenesscampaign launched

May 22, 2006

Researchers presented findings from studies yesterday that providenew insights into bladder cancer screening and follow-up. Inrelated news, two organizations teamed up with actor Tate Donovanto announce a new bladder cancer awareness initiative.

Researchers presented findings from studies yesterday that provide new insights into bladder cancer screening and follow-up. In related news, two organizations teamed up with actor Tate Donovan (shown) to announce a new bladder cancer awareness initiative.

In a long-term study of hematuria home screening for bladder cancer, patients whose disease was identified using chemical reagent strips had cancer that was identified at pre-muscle-invasive stages. They also had lower mortality rates than those whose disease was not detected by early screening.

In a related study, patients with asymptomatic microscopic hematuria who were found to not have bladder cancer after a complete evaluation had a less than 1% chance of developing the disease. Although guidelines recommend repeat cystoscopy in this population on the basis of these data, urologists may need to reconsider what is "appropriate" follow-up, said investigator Edward Messing, MD, of the University of Rochester, New York, a co-author on both studies.

In a related announcement, the AUA Foundation and the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) have formed a partnership to educate the public about bladder cancer, the fifth most prevalent cancer in the United States.

"We are proud to join BCAN in its mission to help educate people about the latest research, symptoms, and treatments of this disease," said John Huber, executive director of the AUA Foundation.

Tate Donovan, who portrays Jimmy Cooper on "The OC," will serve as national spokesperson for BCAN, a patient-based advocacy organization. Donovan's father, who was a urologist, died of bladder cancer in 2000 at age 72, and his mother was diagnosed with superficial bladder cancer in 2005.

"I've got to do whatever I can to get the word out," he said. "I was born for this role."