Methods: A scoping review was conducted by searching Medline, Ovid Gateway, The Cochrane library and Open Grey literature using predefined search terms from date of inception to June 2020. Studies were included if they discussed the epidemiology or treatment pathway of bladder cancer. All data were charted and were analysed in a descriptive manner. A consultation phase was also conducted consisting of a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and bladder cancer survivors.
Results: A total of 19 studies were deemed suitable for inclusion. The themes included the epidemiology of bladder cancer (high prevalence of schistosomiasis), research surrounding the biology of the disease and translational research including potential biomarkers. The consultation phase highlighted some possible sociocultural and infrastructural issues relating to both the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer, with poor knowledge of bladder cancer and its symptoms within the general population identified as a key issue.
Conclusion: Even though the factors surrounding the relationship between schistosomiasis and the histopathology of bladder cancer remain unclear, there is potential for screening for schistosomiasis in endemic regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Other key areas for future research include the dissemination of information to the general population surrounding bladder cancer and its symptoms to encourage prompt diagnosis.