Half of all bladder cancer cases are caused by smoking cigarettes, warn US researchers.
Yet, according to the authors of the new study by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Centre, few people are aware of the connection – including over three-quarters of patients already diagnosed with bladder cancer.
Lead author James Montie, professor of urology at the centre, said: ‘The general public understands that cigarette smoking can lead to lung cancer, but very few people understand that it also can lead to bladder cancer.’
The authors searched medical research databases from 1975 up to 2007 for studies relevant to the link between smoking and bladder cancer. One study that is cited shows that only 22% of patients with the disease were aware that smoking was a risk factor.
Professor Montie noted that in the first four years after quitting smoking the risk of developing bladder cancer decreased by 40%.
The Journal of Urology (2008) 180: 31-37