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Analyzing care guidelines for bladder cancer patients

Narrator:       This is Science Today. Bladder cancer has an unusually high rate of recurrence, so doctors are supposed to adhere to national guidelines for recommended care, but a new UCLA study found that only one patient out of over 4,000 received all the recommended measures. Study author Dr. Karim Chamie said this forced them to analyze whether or not these guidelines are too strict.

Chamie:         Maybe we are expecting too much from doctors, maybe these guidelines have absolutely no impact on survival.  Why treat patients unnecessarily if they don't necessarily result in improved survival? So what we did was we actually looked at linking process, which is whether a patient got a certain level of care, with outcomes, survival. And we found that if patients received at least 50 percent of the recommended care then those patients had a 60 percent lower chance of dying of bladder cancer.

Narrator:       Since bladder cancer has a 90 percent chance of recurring within five years, Chamie says following the recommended guidelines can have a huge impact for patients. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.