Bladder Cancer's Smoking Gun

Half of bladder cancers in women may result from smoking

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Smoking is one of the most dangerous and self-destructive habits a woman - or anyone - can have. Along with lung cancer and heart disease, researchers now know that cigarettes dramaticallly increase a woman's risk of bladder cancer.

 A new National Cancer Institute (NCI) study shows that smoking has an even greater impact on a woman's risk of developing bladder cancer than previously estimated. These risks are now about the same as those of men.

"Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help quitting smoking."

Researchers reviewed data from the more than 450,000 people enrolled in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. This  study surveyed and followed participants from1995 through 2006.

This new study found:

  • People who were currently smoking had four times greater likelihood of developing bladder cancer than those who had never smoked 
  • Former smokers had a twofold greater risk than never smokers
  • Quitting smoking reduced these risks
  • Those who hadn't smoked for 10 years had lower risks than participants who had quit for shorter periods or were still smoking
  • When smoking is not considered, men are still four times more likely to get bladder cancer than women

Lead study author, Neal Freedman, Ph.D., in NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), says this research found greater smoking relating risks than previous studies. The reason for this isn't known, although the composition of the cigarettes may be the cause.

This report is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 17, 2011
Last Updated:
October 21, 2012