Introduction: With no recommended screening approach, urinary bladder cancer patients rely on referral to urologists to ensure timely diagnosis of bladder cancer. This requires coordination between primary and specialty care. We provide estimates of the relative association between primary care physician and urologist density on stage of urinary bladder cancer diagnosis. Methods: We used 2010 to 2016 Pennsylvania Cancer Registry data to identify all adult patients diagnosed with bladder cancer. Our primary outcome was locoregional stage of diagnosis, since treatment modality changes and prognosis worsens beyond this stage. Based on patient's residential location at the time of diagnosis we defined both density of urologists and number of primary care providers (defined as providers per population) within the patient's county. We used univariate and multivariate logistic regression to estimate the association between provider density and likelihood of locoregional stage of diagnosis. We also controlled for age, sex, race/ethnicity, insurance type, and year. Results: Our sample included 11,771 urinary bladder cancer patients with 10,607 diagnosed at locoregional stage and 1164 at distant stage. Multivariate regression results show primary care density was associated with significantly higher odds of locoregional stage of diagnosis (odds ratio of 1.05 [95% CI: 1.02-1.08]) while urologist density was associated with significantly lower odds of locoregional stage (odds ratio of 0.65 [95% CI: 0.48-0.89]). Conclusions: We found primary care density but not urologist density was associated with earlier stage of diagnosis, highlighting the importance of access to primary care and need for timely referral to urologic care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-346
Number of pages8
JournalUrology Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Urology

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