(HealthDay News) — Suicide is a public health concern for patients with genitourinary cancer, especially bladder cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in Cancer.

Zachary Klaassen, M.D., from the Medical College of Georgia-Georgia Regents University in Augusta, and colleagues characterized suicide rates among patients with prostate, bladder, kidney, testis, and penile cancer identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (1988 to 2010).

The researchers identified 2,268 suicides among 1,239,522 individuals with genitourinary malignancies. For patients with cancer, the standardized mortality ratios were 1.37 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.99 to 1.86) for prostate cancer, 2.71 (95 percent CI, 2.02 to 3.62) for bladder cancer, 1.86 (95 percent CI, 1.32 to 2.62) for kidney cancer, 1.23 (95 percent CI, 0.88 to 1.73) for testis cancer, and 0.95 (95 percent CI, 0.65 to 1.35) for penile cancer. Male gender correlated with odds of suicide in patients with bladder and kidney cancer (odds ratios, 6.63 and 4.98, respectively). For patients with prostate, bladder, and testis cancer, increasing age correlated with odds of suicide (odds ratio range, 1.03 to 1.06). In patients with prostate, bladder, and kidney cancer, distant disease correlated with suicide (odds ratio range, 2.82 to 5.43). Among those with prostate, bladder, and kidney cancer, suicide was less likely for African-American versus white patients (odds ratio range, 0.26 to 0.46).

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“Suicide in patients with genitourinary malignancies poses a public health dilemma, especiallyamong men, the elderly, and those with aggressive disease,” the authors write. “Clinicians should be aware of risk factors for suicide in these patients.”

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