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Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Screening for Bladder Cancer

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Release Date: June 2004

Summary of Recommendation / Supporting Documents

Summary of Recommendation

  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against routine screening for bladder cancer in adults.

    Rating: "D" recommendation.

    Rationale: The USPSTF found fair evidence that screening with available tests can detect bladder cancer in asymptomatic individuals. The potential benefit of screening would be small, at best, for the following reasons: there is fair evidence that many of the cancers detected by screening have a low tendency to progress to invasive disease; there is a relatively low overall prevalence of asymptomatic bladder cancer that would eventually lead to important clinical consequences; and there is limited evidence that early treatment of bladder cancer detected through screening improves long-term health outcomes. The potential harms of screening are at least small: screening tests have a low positive predictive value and yield many false positive results, leading to unnecessary invasive procedures. As a result, the USPSTF concluded that the potential harms of screening for bladder cancer outweigh any potential benefits.

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Supporting Documents

Screening for Bladder Cancer, June 2004
Recommendation Statement (PDF File, 62 KB; PDF Help)
Brief Evidence Update (PDF File, 162 KB; PDF Help)

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Current as of June 2004

Internet Citation:

Screening for Bladder Cancer, Topic Page. June 2004. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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