Increase in waiting time is associated with higher chance of death for bladder cancer patients


MUHC researchers have demonstrated that patients with bladder cancer across all of Quebec are waiting longer to have their surgery performed and that this increase in waiting time correlates with a higher incidence of mortality.

The study, partially funded by the Canadian Urologic Oncology Group and the McGill Division of Urology, was published in this month's Journal of Urology. It involved over 1,500 subjects from across Quebec who had undergone major surgery for bladder cancer in all Quebec hospitals. The researchers used data from the Régie de l'Assurance Maladie du Québec database to track the wait periods and survival of these subjects over a 14-year period.

In 1990 Quebec patients with invasive bladder cancer waited an average 23 days between diagnosis and surgery. In 2002, the average wait was 50 days. When patients waited more than 84 days between diagnosis and surgery, mortality was 20% greater.

"The results of our study indicate that significant delays in surgery are dangerous and can result in death from bladder cancer," explains senior author Dr. Armen Aprikian, Chief of Urology at the MUHC and Associate Professor of Surgery, Head of the Division of Urology at McGill University.

"It is clear that the waiting period between diagnosis and surgery has increased and that some patients are waiting beyond the safety margin," adds Aprikian.

Quebec has the second highest mortality rate from bladder cancer after Newfoundland in Canada.

About the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)
The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is a comprehensive academic health institution with an international reputation for excellence in clinical programs, research and teaching. The MUHC is a merger of five teaching hospitals affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University — the Montreal Children's, Montreal General, Royal Victoria, and Montreal Neurological Hospitals, as well as the Montreal Chest Institute. Building on the tradition of medical leadership of the founding hospitals, the goal of the MUHC is to provide patient care based on the most advanced knowledge in the health care field, and to contribute to the development of new knowledge.

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