Does Smoking Cause Bladder Cancer?

Smoking Cause Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is the fifth most common type of cancer in the United States and causes approximately 13,000 deaths annually. Bladder cancer is the fourth leading cancer to occur in men, and the ninth leading cause of cancer mortality in men. It is the eighth leading cancer in women. Read on to know about whether smoking cause bladder cancer or not.

What is the Bladder?

The bladder is an organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine after it is released from the kidneys until it is passed out of the body.

What is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer occurs when cells in the lining of the bladder grow uncontrollably and form tumors that can invade normal tissues and spread to other parts of the body.

Cigarette smoking is the largest risk factor for bladder cancer (yet another reason to stop smoking). Smokers have 2-4 times the risk of having bladder cancer, and it contributes to up to 50% of all bladder cancers that are diagnosed. Other risk factors known are from occupational exposures, such as polychromatic hydrocarbons (benzene, benzidine).

Signs of bladder cancer

  • By far the most common sign of bladder cancer is the presence of blood in the urine, called hematuria. The blood in the urine can either be noticeable by the naked eye, called gross hematuria, or noted only when the urine is analyzed in a laboratory, called microscopic hematuria
  • Other signs of bladder cancer could include symptoms of a urinary tract infection. These include increased frequency of urination, a feeling of urgency to urinate, pain (burning) with urination, and the feeling of incomplete bladder emptying. These are all caused by irritation of the bladder wall by the tumor
  • In advanced cases of bladder cancer, the tumor can actually obstruct either the entrance of urine into the bladder or the exit of urine from the bladder. This causes
    severe flank pain, infection, and damage to the kidneys. Obviously, bladder cancers that cause these symptoms need to be dealt with immediately

Smoking Increases Bladder Cancer Risk

  • Risk of bladder cancer increases with age, and men are more commonly affected than women
  • Research in Spain showed current smoking increased the risk of bladder cancer by more than seven-fold in men and by roughly five-fold in women
  • Former smokers also had an increased risk of bladder cancer. Risk of bladder cancer increased with duration and amount smoked
  • Compared to men who inhaled into the mouth, men who inhaled into the throat or chest had an increased risk of bladder cancer

Bladder Cancer – Preventions

Drinking lots of fluids, especially water, and eating broccoli and cabbage can reduce men’s risk of bladder cancer, according to researchers at Ohio State and Harvard universities.

Smoking is the strongest risk factor associated with the development of bladder cancer.

Therefore, smoking cessation is the best way to prevent bladder cancer.

Sources: OSU, UPENN, UFL