2015 Bladder Cancer Review


Bladder Cancer

The American Cancer Society's estimates for bladder cancer prevalence in the United States for 2016 are:

-About 76,960 new cases of bladder cancer (about 58,950 in men and 18,010 in women)

-About 16,390 deaths from bladder cancer (about 11,820 in  men and 4,570 in women)

Bladder cancer occurs when cells in the lining of the bladder grow uncontrollably and form tumor thickening of normal tissues, which can eventually spread to other parts of the body.

Symptoms of Bladder cancer

The most common symptom noted is blood in the urine which is identified in 80% of bladder cancer patients. Other symptoms are similar to UTI (urinary traction infection) which include irritation when urinating, urgency, and frequency of urination. In advanced cases of bladder cancer, the tumor can actually block either the entrance and/or exit of urine to and from the bladder and this can lead to symptoms of severe flank pain, infection, and damage to the kidneys.


Risks factors for bladder cancer


-Smoking is the most important risk factor for bladder cancer. Smokers are at least 3 times as likely to get bladder cancer as nonsmokers.  Smoking causes about half of all bladder cancers in both men and women.

-Carcinogens in the environment (if worked in the rubber, chemical, leather industries, hairdressers, machinists, metal workers, painters, textile workers and firefighters).

-Caucasians have two times higher risk than African Americans, but the disease tends to be more aggressive at time of presentation in African Americans.


SLCH Bladder Cancer Study

Unfortunately, even though bladder cancer is common, the general population has very little knowledge about it. Here at St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital (SLCH), in order to shed light and bring awareness of this disease to our local population, we have performed a retrospective study to evaluate how bladder cancer diagnosis/treatment in our population compares to national trends.


Diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of bladder cancer at SLCH were compared to NCDB (National Cancer Data Base) in 2014.  In addition, we reviewed the adherence of treatment modalities to NCCN (the National Comprehensive Cancer Network) guidelines.  The National Comprehensive Cancer Network is a nonprofit alliance of 26 cancer centers throughout the United States.  They develop clinical practice guidelines in Oncology, designed to help health care professionals diagnose, treat, and manage cancer patient care.


Data collected from SLCH vs NCDB

Incidence of Bladder Cancer: 2014 SLCH vs. 2013 New York State and

2013 National Cancer Data Base (NCDB)


 Incidence of Bladder Cancer.jpg

 In 2014, 32 patients were diagnosed with bladder cancer at SLCH, representing 9% of all newly diagnosed cancer at the hospital.  This case incidence is compared to both the New York State and NCDB bladder cancer at 4%.


Age at Diagnosis:  Bladder Cancer Incidence %

 2014 SLCH vs. 2013 National Cancer Data Base (NCDB)


Age at Diagnosis.jpg 

Age at Diagnosis: SLCH has a similar patient population to that reported by the  National Cancer Database.

* age group 60-69: 22% for SLCH compared to 26% for NCDB

* age group 70-79 : 28% for SLCH compared to 31% for NCDB

* age group 80-89 : 28% for SLCH compared to 23% for NCDB

 Race bladder cancer.jpg

Race   The data above represents the race that the patients "self identified" upon registration. We had a higher percentage of Hispanic patients than that reported in the NCDB.  This is not unusual given the patient population in our community.

*Caucasian:   84% for SLCH vs 88% for NCDB

* African Americans:  0 % for SLCH vs  6%  for NCDB

* Hispanic: 12% for SLCH vs 3 % for NCDB


Gender: Bladder Cancer

2014 SLCH vs. 2013 National Cancer Data Base (NCDB)


Gender Bladder Cancer.jpg 

Roughly 80% men compared to 20% women at SLCH, which is very similar to that reported in the NCDB.


Stage at Diagnosis: Bladder Cancer

2014 SLCH vs. 2013 National Cancer Data Base (NCDB)

Stage at Diagnosis Bladder.jpg 

The majority of patients are seen in early stage (Stage 0) which accounts for 53% at SLCH during 2014 and 49% for 2013 NCDB cases.  All 32 patients (100%) were staged by undergoing upper tract imaging with either CT Scan or renal ultrasound, followed by cystoscopic evaluation (looking into the bladder with a scope) and endoscopic bladder resection (bladder surgery).



National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has established guidelines in managing bladder cancer. According to the NCCN guidelines all high-grade Stage 0a, Stage 0cis, and Stage I should be offered intravesical immunotherapy(BCG) after endoscopic bladder resection. Fifteen out of thirty-two patients were identified as having high grade bladder eligible for immunotherapy. Fourteen of the fifteen eligible patients received intravesical BCG, as outlined by the NCCN guidelines.  One patient did not receive immunotherapy which appears to be surgeon's preference in this particular patient. This demonstrates a 93% compliance to the guidelines. 


Treatment for muscle invasive bladder cancer includes removal of the bladder (cystectomy) or chemotherapy with simultaneous radiation therapy.  Six patients were identified as having muscle invasive bladder cancer, Stages II – IV, in 2014 at SLCH. Treatment for five of the six patients were managed according to NCCN guidelines, a compliance rate of 83%, by having their bladders removed. The sixth patient completed radiation therapy after their course of chemotherapy.


Ongoing Surveillance:

The second step in managing superficial bladder cancer is monitoring for recurrence.  All 32 patients (100% compliance) demonstrated follow-up for their continued cancer care at SLCH.



In general, the diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of bladder cancer at SLCH and NCDB were relatively similar.  One area of discrepancy is the incidence of bladder cancer in our Hispanic population. The demographics of the City of Newburgh demonstrate a Hispanic population comprising nearly 50% of the total population. But, only 12% of patients diagnosed with bladder cancer were Hispanic. We need to ensure that this community is aware of the link between smoking and bladder cancer, and the importance of early screening.   


One of our objectives at SLCH is to collect and analyze information on the cancer patients diagnosed and/or treated at SLCH, and to compare our population data to that of other national community hospitals.   We strive to ensure that all cancer patients receiving care at SLCH have access to quality standards and achieve the best possible outcomes.  This study demonstrates that our clinicians are providing care within national guidelines.



Jaspreet Singh, DO

St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital

Department of Surgery, Division of Urology

Cancer Committee Physician Liaison



Presented at Cancer Committee 12/3/2015

St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital,

Oncology Data

4th Floor Main

70 Dubois Street

Newburgh, NY 12550