Building and Characterizing the North Carolina Bladder Cancer Cohort

Defining Quality of Life and Potential Health Care Needs During Survivorship

Bladder cancer is the 6th most common US cancer, but one of the least studied for patient-centered outcomes. It is an important healthcare issue in NC: ~2,100 men and women across all counties are diagnosed each year and 1,020 die from it. Bladder cancer is a disease of the elderly and smoking is the main risk factor. In addition to the cancer, these patients likely have healthcare needs related to comorbid conditions. However, the comorbidity burden, receipt of primary and preventive care, and quality of life (QOL) impact from treatment are largely unknown. A detailed understanding of these patient-centered issues can significantly advance our knowledge of the healthcare needs of survivors, and allow physicians to better inform patients on the QOL impact from treatment. Ultimately, this knowledge will allow the development of potential interventions to improve the care and health of bladder cancer survivors.

Therefore, the goals of this study are to assemble and characterize a population-based cohort of 300 patients with invasive bladder cancer from across NC. Patients will be identified using Rapid Case Ascertainment and enrolled prior to treatment (Aim 1). The existence and severity of comorbidities (medical record review) and receipt of guideline-recommended primary and preventive care (patient report) will be assessed at baseline (Aim 2). QOL changes from baseline to after treatment will be assessed by phone survey using validated measures (Aim 3). This is a novel study that addresses important knowledge gaps in this patient population and has significant potential to lead to external funding.

PI: Ronald Chen, MD, MPH
Department: Radiation Oncology
Category: Population Science

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