Karger Publishers, Urologia Internationalis, 1(94), p. 37-44
Objective: To analyze gender-specific differences regarding clinical symptoms, referral patterns and tumor biology prior to initial diagnosis of urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB). Methods: A consecutive series of patients with an initial diagnosis of UCB was included. All patients completed a questionnaire on demographics, clinical symptoms and referral patterns. Results: In total, 68 patients (50 men, 18 women) with newly diagnosed UCB at admission for transurethral resection of bladder tumors were recruited. Dysuria was more often observed in women (55.6 vs. 38.0%, p = 0.001). Direct consultation of the urologist was conducted by 84.0% of males and 66.7% of females (p = 0.120). One third of the women saw their general practitioner and/or gynecologist once or twice (p = 0.120) before referral to the urologist. Furthermore, women were significantly more often treated for urinary tract infections than men (61.1 vs. 20.0%, p = 0.005). Cystoscopy at first presentation to the urologist was more often performed in men than women (88.0 vs. 66.7%, p = 0.068), with a more favorable tumor detection rate at first cystoscopy in men (96.0 vs. 50.0%, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Delayed referral patterns might lead to deferred diagnosis of UCB and consequently to adverse outcome. Thus, primary care physicians might consider referring patients with bladder complaints to specialized care earlier.