Home Press Center Press Releases  Press Release

Press Releases

Contributing Factors to the Diagnosis and Outcomes of Bladder Cancer
Studies discuss physical activity, obesity, and hematuria evaluation across race and gender in bladder cancer mortality risk

Orlando, FL, May 17, 2014 — Aside from all the benefits exercise and physical activity have on our bodies and health, a new study reveals those who take part in physical activity and exercise can add lowering their risk of dying from bladder cancer to the list. Even light to moderate exercise can make a difference.

In a separate study, data demonstrates women are less likely to visit their healthcare provider when they experience hematuria. Hematuria, or blood in the urine, is the most prevalent indicator of bladder cancer, yet fewer than half of patients with hematuria undergo the evaluation recommended by the American Urological Association (AUA).  As a result, they are often diagnosed with a higher proportion of advanced disease, leading to a higher mortality rate. Both studies, which examine factors impacting the outcomes of bladder cancer, will be presented at the 109th Annual Scientific Meeting of the AUA during a joint press conference at the Orlando County Convention Center, Orlando, FL on May 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

“Bladder cancer is among the top ten most common cancers in the U.S., with an estimated 72,000 new cases occurring each year,” said Mirza, Moben MD, session moderator and assistant professor of Urology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. “Understanding the myriad factors impacting effective diagnosis and treatment will ultimately lead to better outcomes – underscoring the importance of this type of research.” 

Study Details

Physical Activity, Obesity and Bladder Cancer Mortality (#MP50-03): Researchers from the University of California, San Diego in La Jolla, CA examined the associations between physical activity, obesity and the survival rates of those with bladder cancer. The study population included 222,163 participants, of whom 48 percent were men and 73 percent were non-Hispanic whites. National Health Information Survey data from 1998 through 2004 was linked to mortality reports and used as a baseline. Self-reported physical activity and body mass index (BMI) were the primary exposure variables.

Results showed:

  • There were no associations of ethnicity or gender in bladder cancer survival rates.
  • Fifty-three of those who exercised had a greater chance of survival than those who did not exercise; however there were no significant differences in survival rates for those identified as overweight or obese compared to those of normal weight.
  • Former smokers were nearly three times likely to die of bladder cancer than those who never smoked.

Investigators concluded physical activity increases the chance of survival and physical activities may potentially prevent bladder cancer death.

Gender, Race and Variation in the Workup of Hematuria (#MP6-16): Researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN conducted a study to determine the association between gender, race and receipt of a timely and complete evaluation of hematuria. They identified 9,220 Medicare A and B patients from a five percent sample who met their criteria for being diagnosed with hematuria by a primary care provider during an outpatient visit between January 2009 and June 2010. A review of completed hematuria evaluations as well as generalized linear mixed models were used to examine the relationship between gender, race and the completeness of hematuria evaluation adjusting for patient- and county-level covariates.

It also shows those who smoke are more than four times likely to die of bladder cancer than non-smokers, providing yet another reason to quit.

Results showed:

  • Females were less likely than males to be seen by a urologist, to undergo a diagnostic procedure or imaging or to have a complete workup. Race/ethnicity was not an independent predictor of hematuria evaluation.
  • The hematuria evaluation was complete in 14 percent of patients, incomplete in 21 percent and absent in 65 percent.
  • A diagnosis was made in 69 percent of evaluations that were completed and bladder cancer was diagnosed in 28 percent of those who completed evaluations.

Investigators concluded while race differences in bladder cancer outcomes cannot be attributed to differences in the quality of hematuria evaluation, inadequate hematuria evaluation may contribute to the higher stage and worse outcomes for females diagnosed with the disease.

NOTE TO REPORTERS: Experts are available to discuss this study outside normal briefing times. To arrange an interview with an expert, please contact the AUA Communications Office at 410-689-3932 or e-mail

About the American Urological Association: The 109th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association takes place May 16 – 21 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has more than 20,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy.

Christine Frey, AUA