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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


SINHA, S et al. One-stop haematuria clinic: First experience in South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2019, vol.109, n.11, pp.850-853. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND. Haematuria is the most common symptom of urological cancers, specifically bladder cancer, and timely diagnosis can prevent disease from progressing to a more advanced or incurable stage. One-stop haematuria clinics (OSHCs) have become commonplace in urological services in developed countries during the past three decades.OBJECTIVES. To assess the efficacy of this specialised clinic, aimed at providing an investigative service for patients with haematuria, in decreasing morbidity and mortality by earlier diagnosis of urological malignancy. We also report on the outcomes of this study.METHODS. A total of 275 patients who attended the weekly OSHC at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa (SA), between January 2012 and October 2015 were retrospectively included in the study (out of 477 folders reviewed). Only patients with visible haematuria (275/477) were included, and characteristics such as gender, age, self-identified ethnicity, and outcomes following OSHC attendance (diagnoses and stage/grade/type of cancers) were recorded.RESULTS. While the majority of cases were classified as indeterminate following investigation, one-fifth (55/275) of the patients were diagnosed with urological neoplasms, mainly bladder cancer (87.2%, n=48). The 50 - 69-year age group was the most common window for diagnosis of a neoplasm. Forty-six patients (46/55) with urothelial cancers were diagnosed at a relatively early stage and were therefore offered curative management; 5 patients presented with late-stage disease and risked poor outcomes after management. The remaining 4 identified cases were adenocarcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Most patients presented with high-grade cancers (43.2%). A small subset of patients were diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma (11.6%) and upper-tract transitional cell carcinoma (1.6%).CONCLUSIONS. This audit revealed that an OSHC can streamline diagnosis of urological malignancies in the SA setting, and highlights the fact that the patients most at risk for developing malignant conditions were the ones frequently diagnosed at a later stage and hence potentially facing a poorer prognosis. These findings support the setting up of such clinics in other SA hospitals to improve ease of early access to the urological service.

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