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Risk of bladder cancer among smokers increases
August 16th, 2011
04:46 PM ET

Risk of bladder cancer among smokers increases

Cigarette smoking causes bladder cancer at an even higher rate than previously thought, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The prevalence of bladder cancer in the United States has remained relatively stable during the past 30 years even as smoking – one of the biggest known risk factors for bladder cancer – has declined.

The study authors suggest that cigarettes may contain even higher concentrations of certain known carcinogens than they used to, and they are calling for more research into the current content of cigarettes.

A summary of large studies initiated from the 1960s through 1980s indicates that smokers triple their risk of contracting bladder cancer.

This study, using data from almost 500,000 people beginning in the 1990s, raises the risk for current smokers to four times that of those who have never smoked.

And although previous studies found female smokers to be at lower risk for bladder cancer than male smokers – both sexes are at comparable risk according to this study.

Besides the composition of cigarettes, the increased risk could be due to smokers breathing more deeply to compensate for cigarette filters, or better awareness of bladder cancer risks leading to earlier diagnosis.

“The really important take-home message of our study is that smoking is a strong risk factor for bladder cancer,” says Neal Freedman, Ph.D, of the National Cancer Institute, “and that in terms of bladder cancer-prevention, having people not smoke, and if they're current smokers to stop smoking, is one of the best things that can be done to prevent bladder cancer.”

Approximately 70,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed every year in the United States, causing about 15,000 deaths per year.


soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. MOBADTHANGOOD

    Maybe its because of all the chemicals they put in food and are putting in even more. Maybe?

    August 16, 2011 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sam

      Alcohol is the Biggest killer in the world,DO you see ever anything about it ? NOPE.Ya know why ? Beacuse all the POLITICANS ARE DRUNKS and the DOCTORS who dont like the smell of smoke while ChugGing that FORMELDHYDE LOADED BEER and Rot Gut LIQUOR

      August 17, 2011 at 10:14 | Report abuse |
    • Smarterthanyou

      Sam...you are an idiot.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:32 | Report abuse |
  2. jo jo

    Quitting isnt easy and im no quitter!

    August 16, 2011 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gumby

      It's the most dumb nasty habit. Cost for the habit and tempting fate with ur health.

      August 17, 2011 at 06:33 | Report abuse |
    • mattski

      Same is true for drinking, jojo, but I don't hear anyone talking about how nasty it is, even though the negative health effects of drinking are much more immediate and drinking is reaponsible for countless third party deaths every year, not to mention devastating behavioral and domestic problems.

      August 17, 2011 at 09:02 | Report abuse |
  3. denise

    I think is the amount of ciggarets that people smoke on daily bases, and how long they have been smoking. I think is time to quit.

    August 16, 2011 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. mattski

    I'm convinced these people have no idea what they're talking about.

    August 16, 2011 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Tchi

    This is absolutely true. My grandmother smoked from the age of 10 in the 1930's until she died at the age of 78 from bladder cancer. The doctor even mentioned it years and years before and we were puzzled when he said it was because of smoking. Welp, guess he was right.

    August 16, 2011 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Urchin

    It's absolutely true that smoking causes bladder cancer. My Mom died of bladder cancer at age 41 after at least 25 years of smoking. She left two kids, ages 11 and 8, without a mother forever. Her grandchildren never knew what it was like to have a grandmother. I was the 11-year-old... I'm 57 now and I still miss her dearly. It can happen to you and yours too. Please stop smoking, for your loved ones who are here now and for your future loved ones who haven't even been born yet.

    August 16, 2011 at 22:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mouselol

      I know how you feel. My mom contracted bladder cancer for smoking she did years before. What happens is this: When you smoke the chemicals go into your bloodstream and then they are filtered out through your kidneys and then they sit in the bladder and wait until you have to pee. It the while you wait part that does the damage. The chemicals of smoking affect the lining of your bladder and it can take decades for the damage to grow and develop into cancer, although she did have a mini stroke while she was in recovery.
      My mother did survive, but has no bladder and permanently has a bag which collects her urine.
      QUIT SMOKING. I'VE SEEN MY AUNTS, UNCLES AND MY GRANDPARENTS ALL DIE FROM THIS!!!! IT IS NOT HOW YOU WANT TO LEAVE THIS EARTH!!!

      August 17, 2011 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
  7. JW

    jo jo, it isn't quitting, it is committing yourself to no longer be tied and controlled by the cigarette. Instead of quitting, you are actually doing–giving up cigarettes.

    August 16, 2011 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Another Bogeyman

    Right to blaming cigarettes. Not like there isn't a boatload of toxins dumped into everything else from agriculture to the latest commercial every 10 minutes for the next pill that will kill you in 5 years. Please stop pumping poisons into the environment, we are far past saturation for even humans as the toxins are passed down to newborns who have not even been fed the current poisons in all the air, food and water.

    August 17, 2011 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sam

      Thank you,and you know what else ? Why is it its never about alcohol ? I would figure being this is a health issue that with alcohol costing the USA alone $ 280 Billion a year and smoking maybe 40 Billion,That they would target BOOZE 24/7 like they do ALCOHOL,And Secondly not only is ALCOHOL condoned,served with kids present BUT IT DOES KILL OTHERS,SMoking nor PASSIVE SMOKE DONT DO EITHER of the TWO...SO that shows me how Hipocritical SOCIETY IS........HIPOCRITES ALLL

      August 17, 2011 at 10:18 | Report abuse |
    • mouselol

      Sam, have you ever considered getting some professional help??? Of course there are signs all over the hospital for not smoking....
      This article wasn't about drinking. It was about smoking as a cause of bladder cancer. There have been articles about drinking.

      August 17, 2011 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
  9. Lynn

    My Grandmother died of bladder cancer at the age of 83. I think she would still be alive today if she had not gotten the cancer. Other than the cancer she was fairly healthy. She didn't have high blood pressure and her cholesterol was normal. She smoked from the age of 15 to 55. And her doctors told her that she got cancer from smoking.

    August 17, 2011 at 01:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sam

      Yea they blame everything on SMOKING they LIE

      August 17, 2011 at 10:12 | Report abuse |
  10. jay

    Tough to quit smoking but after having 5 procedures to remove tumors you learn how stupid the habit has been and quit. Life is better without the smoking and without the cancer. I spend my money on what I want instead of an addiction.

    August 17, 2011 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. sam

    Im sorry but this is a LIE..If thats the case everyone who smoked would be dead at 25,BOOZE ROTS every organ in the BODY...Why DONT YOU GO AFTER BOOZE ? WHY IS THAT ? WHY IS EVERYTHING ON HERE about smoking ? BOOZE use costs the USA $ 280 Billion a year,NOW THATS Not only A HEALTH ISSUE but The LIves of Thousands per day because OF THIS POISON....TALK ABOUT ALCOHOL FOR A CHANGE WILL YOU

    August 17, 2011 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mouselol

      Because not everyone who smokes dies at 25. On the same note, not everyone who drinks dies at 25 either. You can consume alcohol in moderation and still be fine without it rotting every organ in your body. The chemicals in smoking even in moderation do affect every part of your body even if you can't feel the effects.
      Sam....If you need help with your drinking, go get some help.

      August 17, 2011 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
  12. Wishing

    I wish I could walk away from them. I have been smoking since I was 15 I am now 45 with severe asthma and COPD. I have tried everything...everything...EVERTHING! I am beginning to think I will never be able to quit and I will die a horrible death just like my dad.... God please make the addiction go away.....please.

    August 17, 2011 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mouselol

      Wishing, here is your magic cure. Stop smoking. If you have to lock yourself in a room for 2 weeks with someone only bringing you food and water, then do it. If you have to be huddled in a corner rocking back and forth in a fetal position for those few weeks, do it. If you live with a smoker, either they quit too or they move out. If you have friends who smoke, find new friends who don't smoke. Sit on your hands if you have to. duck tape yourself to a chair if you have to. don't keep any money on you to go to the store. If you have no money, you can't buy them.
      No matter how badly you want one, don't go get one. Deal with the shakes, the sweating, the cravings (as they will pass). Trust me I did it. I was miserable for a few weeks but it passes. There are gums and mints and patches which take the edge off but you are going to have to deal with the withdrawl symptoms whether you like it or not. You want to quit, so just do it.
      Yes it's hard. Yes it sucks. There are going to be times you want a smoke so bad you could kill, but you just don't do it.

      August 17, 2011 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
  13. sam

    This is Funny : I went to a liver transplant office at a Hospital right ,All You see is STOP smoking Signs and ads all over the WALLS,Not One single Sign ABOUT ALCOHOL......How do you like that.....

    August 17, 2011 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wishing

      So go have a smoke and stop bothering the people who actually care and want to try to quit.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:23 | Report abuse |
  14. Fred Orentlich

    I am Fred Orentlich and I will be talking about Insurance for smokers. We're all pretty familiar with the physical effects of smoking, including cancer, emphysema, stroke, etc. However, for the first time, insurance companies are raising health insurance rates for those who risk the dangers of smoking, opening the door for a kind of personal responsibility that hasn't yet been addressed in terms of medical coverage.

    At USA Today, a recent article explores this topic: "A growing number of private and public employers are requiring employees who use tobacco to pay higher premiums, hoping that will motivate more of them to stop smoking and lower health care costs for the companies and their workers."

    And it's easy to see why employers would approve of this move. The effects of smoking cost more than just the smoker. When the Union Camp Corporation evaluated the health costs of 700 of their employees in 1992, they discovered that nonsmoking employees cost the company $462 less in health care costs than smoking employees. Among 400 production employees for whom there was absenteeism data, each nonsmoker saved the company $284 of sick pay.

    And, a study of 2,500 postal employees published in the American Journal of Public Health found that the absentee rate for smokers was 33% higher than for nonsmokers.

    Of course, that doesn't even touch the healthcare costs, the most direct reason why health insurance rates are going up for smokers. $75.5 billion in excess medical expenditures can be directly attributed to smoking.

    Overall, for every pack of cigarettes smoked, that smoker costs the nation $7.18 in medical care and lost productivity, or about $157 billion and 440,000 premature deaths each year.

    In response to such costs, health insurance agencies and employers are foisting the costs of smoking back on to the smokers. The only problem is this; the costs of smoking are so high, that it's impossible to pay them. If healthcare costs are already leading to high health insurance rates, how can smokers afford to pay for an increase?

    And again, how can they not? After all, they are most likely to need medical coverage.
    Offering smoking cessation programs at work seems to be one healthy alternative to both the effects of smoking and the hike in health insurance rates. Others have suggested that health insurance agencies offer smoking cessation medications to incentivize smokers, alongside reductions in premiums.

    In either case, saving people's lives is a pretty great perk of saving people money in health insurance premiums.

    August 17, 2011 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wishing

      And besides if you don't smoke you live longer so you can pay premiums longer. And we all know as you age you see the doctor more smoker or not so they make more too. It is a win win situation.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
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    August 24, 2011 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Ashley Williams

    Most of the people suffering from cancer are those who are addicted to smoking and they are in such a condition that to quit smoking will be the most critical factor for their life !! But they will be realizing this only at the edge!! So we need to make them aware of the hazardous truth of "Quitting smoking for good" from the very beginning !!

    September 20, 2011 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
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    December 13, 2012 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
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    December 13, 2012 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
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    December 13, 2012 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
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    December 13, 2012 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
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    December 13, 2012 at 04:31 | Report abuse | Reply
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    December 13, 2012 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
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    December 13, 2012 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Naama Tycher

    good share, thank you

    December 17, 2012 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Yaaddas Jiban

    good read

    December 27, 2012 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Yaadein Jamil

    good read

    December 27, 2012 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.