Shine news

Bladder cancer and people with spina bifida

24th April 2019


Shine has learned that people with spina bifida may have a higher chance than people without spina bifida, of developing bladder cancer, and of developing it at a younger age. A recent research paper* has estimated a 4% chance of bladder cancer, whether you’ve had an augmentation or not.

The main symptoms, which are listed below, can be symptoms you may not really notice, as they can be common in people with spina bifida. But it is very important that you report any new symptoms quickly. Getting an early diagnosis means earlier treatment, with a better chance of success

So if you notice:

  • Recurrent Urine infections (UTI) or a UTI that leads to sepsis
  • Visible blood in your urine
  • New pain in your abdomen or pelvis
  • New difficulty passing a catheter during intermittent catheterisation (CIC)

Or if your blood test shows your kidney function is getting worse, bring this up with your Urologist if you have one, or your GP, as soon as you can. Shine has accompanying information for health professionals that you could take to your appointment, summarising the research findings.

*Rove K, Husman D, Wilcox D, Vricella G, Higuchi T Systematic review of bladder cancer outcomes in patients with spina bifida (2017), Journal of Paediatric Urology

If you're scheduled to see someone, or are making an appointment to do with your urology, you can print our guide below and take it with you to ensure your GP knows what to check for...

Download our guide for GPs

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