A simple urine test could spot bladder cancer ten years before symptoms appear, according to a major study led by the World Health Organisation. Picture: Flickr
A simple urine test could spot bladder cancer ten years before symptoms appear, according to a major study led by the World Health Organisation. Picture: Flickr

Simple urine test could spot bladder cancer 10 years early

By Daily Mail reporter Time of article published Mar 2, 2020

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London - A simple urine test could spot bladder cancer ten years before symptoms appear, according to a major study led by the World Health Organisation.

Detection of bladder cancer is usually very poor – with a quarter of cases diagnosed at a late stage.

The only way to diagnose the disease at the moment is an invasive cystoscopy - an unpleasant procedure in which a camera is sent into the bladder. And this is only done if someone complains of symptoms.

In time, the urine test could even lead to national screening programmes for all people at a certain age, the researchers said. 

If the cancer is spotted at the earliest stage there is a 90 percent chance of surviving five years, but if diagnosed late survival falls to 10 percent. Yet the only way to diagnose the disease at the moment is an invasive cystoscopy, where a camera is sent into the bladder.

The study, published in the Lancet EBioMedicine journal, shows bladder cancer could instead be spotted by using a urine test to detect mutations in a specific gene. In time, the simple test could even lead to national screening programmes for all people of a certain age, the researchers said.

The academics tracked 50 000 people in Iran for a decade. They found 46 percent of those who developed bladder cancer could be spotted ten years in advance by using the urine test.

If tested 18 months before the cancer would usually be diagnosed, 83 percent of cases are picked up by the test.

Daily Mail

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