New study reveals that cigarettes are the smoking gun behind more than half of bladder cancer cases in the United States
Smoking increases the risk of bladder cancer much more than it did decades ago
Everyone knows that smoking causes 90% of lung cancer, but what about other types of cancer? A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that tobacco smoking is the main cause of bladder cancer. The study was conducted by the National Institute of Health and the AARP and took data from more than 450,000 participants between 1995 and 2006.
The study revealed that smoking has become far more lethal than ever before. Decades ago, smoking was believed to cause 20% to 30% of bladder cancer cases among women and now, that figure is 52% due to changes in cigarette design, according to the author of the study. While tar and nicotine concentrations in cigarettes have fallen over the past 50 years, levels of specific cancer chemicals have increased. They include beta-napthylamine, a known bladder carcinogen. "Changing the composition of cigarettes may be associated with the strengthening of the association between smokking and bladder cancer risk", according to study author, Neal D. Freeman, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Compared with "never smokers", former smokers had more than double the risk of bladder cancer and for current smokers, the risk was four times higher. According to the American Cancer Association, there were 69,250 new cases of bladder cancer diagnosed in 2011 and about 14,990 deaths from bladder cancer. Pretty scary stuff.
It's not all bad news for smokers. Smokers who kicked the habit were much less likely to develop bladder cancer. Current smokers can split their risk of bladder cancer in half simply by kicking the habit.
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