Delays in the diagnosis and initial treatment of bladder cancer in Western Australia

Steve P. McCombie, Haider K. Bangash, Melvyn Kuan, Isaac Thyer, Fran Lee, Dickon Hayne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To quantify and examine the causes of delays in the diagnosis and initial treatment of patients with bladder cancer in Western Australia. Subjects and Methods: All attendances at a one-stop haematuria clinic at a public tertiary-level hospital in Western Australia between May 2008 and April 2014 were reviewed retrospectively. All patients diagnosed with a bladder tumour over this period were identified. These patients and their general practitioners were contacted retrospectively and invited to participate in telephone interviews, with additional data collected from clinical records as required. Waiting times to presentation, referral, assessment, and initial treatment were established for patients who presented with visible haematuria. Results: Of 1 365 attendances, 151 patients were diagnosed with a bladder tumour and 100 of these were both suitable and agreed to participate in the study. For patients with visible haematuria the median (range) waiting time from initial bleeding to surgery was 69.5 (9–1 165) days. This was comprised of a median (range) pre-referral waiting time of 12 (0–1 137) days, assessment waiting time of 23.5 (0–207) days, and treatment waiting time of 20 (1–69) days. Reasons for prolonged waiting times included poor public awareness, patient fear and anxiety, delayed and non-referral from primary care, administrative delays, and resource limitations. Conclusion: Many patients experience significant delays in the diagnosis and treatment of their bladder cancer in Western Australia, and this probably reflects national trends. These concerning data warrant consideration of how delays can be reduced to improve outcomes for these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalBJU International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


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