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J Urol. 1978 Apr;119(4):488-92.

The natural history of papillary transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder and its treatment in an unselected population on the basis of histologic grading.


Between 1950 and 1965, 365 patients were treated for transitional cancer of the bladder at our hospitals. A retrospective study was done, using clinical records and a histopathologic review to determine the long-term natural history of this population when treated conservatively. The natural history of 3 separate patient populations was discovered, based solely on the grading of the transurethrally resected fragments. Based on the grade on initial presentation these patients were divided into grades I, II and III. Of the patients 5 per cent in grade I, 16 per cent in grade II, 28 to 35 per cent in grade III not involving muscle and 83 per cent in grade III involving muscle died of bladder cancer. Ninety-seven patients (26 per cent) died of bladder cancer, 110 (31 per cent) died of other causes and 158 (43 per cent) have been alive more than 5 years (104 more than 10 years). Grade I tumors that progressed to a higher grade did so within 2 years of the initial diagnosis. Of the bladder cancer deaths 83 per cent occurred within 2 years of the initial diagnosis. Of 64 patients dying more than 5 years after presentation only 7 died of bladder cancer.

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