New guidelines to increase bladder cancer survival, claims NHS

In collaboration with the Press Association

New clinical guidelines for dealing with bladder cancer patients should improve survival rates, the NHS watchdog has said. Under the new approach, specialists will be advised to start patients with bladder cancer on chemotherapy to prepare them for radiotherapy or surgery. Research has estimated that the guidelines could improve the five year survival rate by around five per cent. "We've looked at the risks and benefits of surgery compared to radiotherapy for advanced or invasive cancer," cancer expert Graham Howard of the Edinburgh Western General Hospital told the BBC. "We found that the current lack of evidence on superiority means treatment choices should be tailored to what is best for each patient, importantly patient preference." Patients who smoke will also be told they must quit to increase their chances of recovery. There are around 10,000 new cases of bladder cancer diagnosed in the UK annually. The disease is the fourth most common cancer among men and the eighth among women. Smoking is believed to double the risk of contracting bladder cancer . Doctors estimate that it is the cause of more then half of all cases in Europe in men and a third of all cases in women.