29 February 2012

Smoking Can Cause Bladder Cancer

Last spring, a close friend of mine was diagnosed with bladder cancer. The symptoms came on suddenly. One day he could not urinate. His bladder stopped working. The tumor was so large that it blocked the passage of urine. He was in severe pain and needless to say, completely unprepared for what was yet to come.

Fortunately, he was able to make an appointment with a urologist that day. His bladder was emptied of nearly 700 cc of blood in the urine (bladder normally holds about 500 cc). A Foley catheter was placed in the bladder, and was introduced to a scanner to see what the problem was.

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer diagnosed in men in the United States and is the ninth most common cancer in women. Each year, 50,000 men and 16,000 women are diagnosed with bladder cancer. These statistics are bleak. It is believed that men develop cancer of the bladder more frequently than females because of androgen receptor (linked to male hormones). Add these receptors to a smoking habit in the long run and you have a bomb.

Smoking is considered the No. 1 contributor bladder cancer causes more than half of bladder cancers in men and about one third of cases in women. There is a direct link between smoking and the risk of developing bladder cancer. Quitting smoking greatly reduces the chances of developing bladder cancer.

Symptoms of this deadly cancer develop gradually over time. Cancer my friend was growing for years without symptoms. Blood in urine is an early sign of bladder cancer. However, it can be called "microscopic hematuria", which means simply, blood can not be seen with a microscope. In the case of my friend, the blood was evident on the day his bladder became blocked . Before that day, there was no blood visible. Most people suffer from pain during urination, frequent urination, or feeling of needing to urinate but unable to do. Some people no symptoms until the cancer or tumor, is very large.

It was suggested that approximately 30% of bladder tumors are caused by occupational exposures in the workplace. However, this article is about smoking as a cause of bladder cancer. A chemical called "2-naphthylamine" found in cigarette smoke was associated with an increased risk of a person developing cancer of the bladder.

Apart from not smoking, what else can help prevent bladder tumors? Drink plenty of fluids every day can significantly reduce the chances of developing cancer of the bladder by flushing the bladder continuously carcinogens. Drink half your body weight per day in fluids, ie, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water or other fluids each day. Water is the best because it empties the bladder. Coffee is a diuretic, so it is best not to drink too much of this drink, so do not count coffee in your total daily intake of liquid. Eating lots of citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables may be protective as well.

The chances of developing bladder cancer also depends on many other factors. How long a person has smoked is at the top of the list. However, quitting smoking can have a major impact on whether a person will develop the disease. Current smokers are three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than non-smokers and former smokers are twice as likely to develop it as nonsmokers. However, the duration is a key element in the development of bladder cancer, and age a person starts smoking has an influence as well. But it's never too late to quit smoking and is always the best option.

After leaving, long-term smokers should see a urologist for an examination of reference. He / she may look inside the bladder with a cystocope to ensure there are no small growths developing. These can be easily cut away in a painless procedure. The procedure is somewhat uncomfortable but worth the discomfort to make sure your bladder is healthy. Periodic monitoring is good insurance in cancer prevention.

Smoking is becoming a thing of the past that people are beginning to realize it is not worth the gamble. Smoking has no health benefits. In fact, it is one of the most unhealthy things a person can do. With bladder cancer, smoking has been linked to emphysema, pancreatic cancer, throat cancer, lung cancer, heart disease, oral cancer, tooth decay, and damage to the expression Eye long. It is considered a major contributor to macular degeneration related to age, is a form of blindness especially among the elderly. People who smoke more often sick, and they miss more work time. Smoking is a burden to insurance companies and taxpayers. It is time to help smokers kick the habit. Help save a life. Encourage a smoker to quit. If you are a smoker, help is available. You do not have to do it alone. Contact the American Cancer Society or the American Lung Association to find smoking cessation programs in your city. If not for yourself, to do for those who love you.