The 2004 report of the Surgeon General on the health consequences of smoking concluded that smoking causes bladder cancer (see details in report). Little surprise then today that another large prospective study following older US adults for approximately 10 years shows smoking is directly related to increased risk of bladder cancer. As women and men have patterns of cigarette smoking that are becoming more alike, the risk increase of bladder cancer among smokers also becomes more alike.
Sadly, media coverage suggests more research is needed. What we need is better prevention of smoking and prevention of addiction to cigarettes, which leads to cancer in many different parts of the body, bladder being just one such location. Making smoking cessation services and strategies available to all smokers to avoid these unnecessary cases of cancer is surely the top priority, not more research to understand mechanisms of how smoking causes bladder cancer.
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