Evidence sparse on bladder-cancer screening accuracy

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 29, 2011

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There is not enough medical evidence to demonstrate that screening average-risk patients for bladder cancer is effective, according to a report published by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. About 14,000 Americans die of bladder cancer annually, and it is one of the top 10 most frequently diagnosed cancers in the U.S.

But the task force's report said most people without symptoms who test positive do not actually have bladder cancer. The potential harm associated with false-positive test results are unclear, and the task force said it found no high-quality studies comparing clinical outcomes for patients who received screening and those who did not. The panel's review of studies through 2009 is included in the August report (link).

Due to the lack of evidence, the task force made no recommendation on whether to screen asymptomatic patients. Adults who test positive for bladder cancer in a urine test are usually referred to a urologist for more tests.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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