Bladder Cancer is More Deadly in South Texas, and Among Latinos and Women, Study Finds

A study shows that bladder cancer is more advanced and aggressive in South Texas residents compared to many parts of the country. The study, which appeared in IOS Press, also showed that the disease is deadlier in Latinos and women, regardless of geography.

In this study, researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) compared South Texas cohort consisted of 11,027 bladder cancer cases in South Texas to statewide cohort consisting of 68,415 cases from all 254 Texas counties. The nationwide Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program comprised 155,701 cases from: Alaska; Connecticut; Detroit; Atlanta; rural Georgia; San Francisco-Oakland, Calif.; San Jose-Monterey, Calif.; Hawaii; Iowa; Los Angeles; New Mexico; Seattle-Puget Sound; and Utah.

“Although South Texas and Texas had lower bladder cancer incidence rates than SEER, the region and state had significantly worse five-year survival rates for bladder cancer compared to SEER. This was regardless of gender,” said study first and corresponding author Shenghui Wu, MD, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of population health sciences at UT Health San Antonio via a press release about the study.

“We also found that Latinos, both men and women, had lower incidence but worse survival than non-Latino whites in each geographical area,” Dr. Wu said. “And women had significantly lower bladder cancer incidence but worse survival rates than men, regardless of race or ethnicity, in each area.”


Dr. Wu stressed that the investigators have a long way to go to know which factors affect bladder cancer survival. The study authors wrote of the findings: “The residents in South Texas have lower per capita personal incomes; higher rates of unemployment, poverty and lack of insurance; lower educational attainment; less access to health care services; and higher obesity prevalence than the state as a whole, which may uniquely impact both incidence and survival rates for cancer patients.”