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Background and Objectives
Bladder tumours are rare in young patients. Consequently, the literature is sparse and studies provide con-flicting reports on clinicopathological data and patient outcomes. This study examines, to our knowledge, the largest UK series of patients aged less than 40 years diagnosed with bladder cancer, and examines their risks and outcomes.
Material and Methods
A prospectively recorded database (2008-2018) was used to identify patients aged under 40 years diagnosed with bladder cancer. Data were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were then sub-divided into 2 groups based on age: group 1 was aged below 20 years and group 2 was aged 20–39 years.
A total of 27 patients were identified with a median age of 34 years (range 14–39). Male to female ratio was 2.86:1. Median follow-up was 41.5 months (range 3–108). 61.9% presented with visible hematuria and 54.2% had one or more risk factors such as cigarette smoking. A total of 96.3% of patients had urothelial carcinoma and 92.3% of these were non-muscle invasive tumours. 7.7% presented with muscle invasive disease with 3.8% having positive nodes at diagnosis. Patients with non-muscle invasive urothelial tumours were risk-stratified according to the EAU-Guidelines Panel risk grouping with 39.1% low-risk, 4.3% intermediate-risk and 56.5% high-risk of recurrence and/or progression. During follow-up 30.4% recurred and 4.3% progressed to invasive disease. 23.1% underwent cystectomy and overall 11.5% died during follow-up, all due to metastatic disease. Patients in group one showed a statistically significant incidence of lower-grade disease at diagnosis with lower risk-group stratification but there was no significant difference in other parameters.
The majority of young patients in our series presented with non-muscle invasive urothelial bladder tumours but a significant proportion of these had high-risk disease. Some patients presented with aggressive, muscle invasive bladder cancer and consequently bladder cancer remains an important differential diagnosis in symptomatic patients regardless of age.
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