Bladder Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Potential Factors Linked to Patient Discontinuation of Therapy for Bladder Cancer

By: Joshua D. Madera, MS
Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2021

For patients with bladder cancer, access to reliable transportation was the most important obstacle that led to patient discontinuation of treatment, according to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. This finding provides an opportunity for physicians to recommend additional support and social resources to reduce the physical and psychological burdens faced by their patients being treated for bladder cancer, explained Shu-Ching Chen, PhD, of Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, and colleagues.

From 2014 to 2019, a total of 1,247 patients with non–muscle invasive bladder cancer were enrolled in the study. All patients were older than 20 years of age, were recruited from the Cancer Registry Database, and had previously received anticancer therapy. Patients were asked an array of questions focused on why they opted to discontinue their treatment.

The authors reported that 2.1% and 4.3% of patients refused or discontinued treatment, respectively. Patients who refused treatment tended to be less educated (odds ratio = 0.855) or had cancer stage II through IV (odds ratio = 11.615). Reported reasons for treatment refusal included poor physical condition (46.2%), alternative medical therapy (38.5%), concern about negative side effects (11.5%), and poor familial support (3.8%).

Moreover, the study findings revealed that patients who discontinued treatment either did not live in Northern Taiwan (odds ratio = 3.961) or had cancer stage II through IV (odds ratio = 3.711). The primary reasons for discontinuing treatment included inadequate transportation (49.1%), lack of trust in their physician (17.0%), death (11.3%), deteriorating patient condition (9.4%), and concern about negative side effects (7.5%).

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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