Life expectancy for people with spinal cord injury has shown a marked increase due to modern advances in treatment methods and in neuro-urology. However, since life expectancy of people with paralysis increases, the risk of developing of urinary bladder cancer is gaining importance.
Single-centre retrospective evaluation of patient data with spinal cord injuries and proven urinary bladder cancer and summary of the literature.
Between 1998 and 2014, 24 (3 female, 21 male) out of a total of 6599 patients with spinal cord injury were diagnosed with bladder cancer. The average age at bladder cancer diagnosis was 57.67 years, which is well below the average for bladder cancer cases in the general population (male: 73, female: 77). All but one patient had a latency period between the onset of the spinal paralysis and tumour diagnosis of more than 10 years. The median latency was 29.83 years. The median survival for these patients was 11.5 months. Of the 24 patients, 19 (79%) had muscle invasive bladder cancer at ≥T2 at the time of diagnosis. The type of neurogenic bladder (neurogenic detrusor overactivity or acontractility) and the form of bladder drainage do not appear to influence the risk. Long-term indwelling catheter drainage played only a minor role in the investigated patients.
The significantly younger age at onset and the frequency of invasive tumours at diagnosis indicate that spinal cord injury influences bladder cancer risk and prognosis as well. Early detection of bladder cancer in patients with spinal cord injury remains a challenge.
International urology and nephrology. 2017 Mar 22 [Epub ahead of print]
Ralf Böthig, Ines Kurze, Kai Fiebag, Albert Kaufmann, Wolfgang Schöps, Thura Kadhum, Michael Zellner, Klaus Golka