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Women who increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables probably reduce their risk of developing invasive bladder cancer, researchers from the University of Hawaii Cancer Center reported in The Journal of Nutrition1.
The authors explained that fruits and vegetables have been extensively studied for their possible effects on the risk of cancer, including bladder cancer. Fruits and vegetables contain several nutrients, phytochemicals, as well as antioxidants which potentially protect from cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute2, there are approximately 72,570 new cancer bladder cases and 15,210 deaths caused by bladder cancer annually in the United States.
Song-Yi Park, PhD., and colleagues set out to determine what effect high fruit and vegetable intake might have on invasive bladder cancer risk.
The team carried out a prospective analysis involving 185,885 older adults who participated in the Multiethnic Cohort Study. The study was set up in 1993 to examine the relationship between dietary, lifestyle, genetic factors, and the risk of cancer.
The researchers gathered and analyzed data over a 12.5-year period. During that time 152 females and 429 males developed invasive bladder cancer.
After making adjustments for some variables which influence cancer risk, such as age, the scientists discovered that those with the lowest bladder cancer risk were women who ate the most fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Park and team found that:
"Our study supports the fruit and vegetable recommendation for cancer prevention. However, further investigation is needed to understand and explain why the reduced cancer risk with higher consumption of fruits and vegetables was confined to only women."
This type of cancer forms in the tissues of the bladder. The bladder is the organ that stores urine.
The majority of bladder cancers start in the cells that make up the inner lining of the bladder - transitional cell carcinomas.
Adenocarcinoma starts in the cells that make and release mucus and other fluids. Squamous cell carcinoma starts off in the thin, flat cells.
Adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma develop in cells in the inner lining of the bladder as a result of long-term irritation and inflammation.
According to the National Health Service (NHS)3, UK, about half of all bladder cancer cases among men are caused by smoking. The NHS adds that smoking is thought to be the cause of 20% to 30% of all female cases. However, an article published in JAMA in 2011 states that the risk for female smokers is comparable with that of men4.
Bladder cancer can develop at any age, but is much more common among older adults. If diagnosed at an early stage the disease is highly treatable.
Bladder cancer has a high recurrence rate. Hence, survivors should undergo regular follow-up checks.
Written by Christian Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without the permission of Medical News Today.
1. "Fruit and Vegetable Intakes Are Associated with Lower Risk of Bladder Cancer among Women in the Multiethnic Cohort Study"
Song-Yi Park, Nicholas J. Ollberding, Christy G. Woolcott, Lynne R. Wilkens, Brian E. Henderson, and Laurence N. Kolonel
J. Nutr. August, 2013 vol. 143 no. 8 1283-1292. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.174920.
2. National Cancer Institute.
3. National Health Service (NHS).
4. ”Risk Of Bladder Cancer Due To Smoking Higher Than We Thought” (Medical News Today).
Visit our Urology / Nephrology category page for the latest news on this subject.
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Nordqvist, Christian. "Fruits and vegetables may reduce bladder cancer risk in women." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 26 Aug. 2013. Web.
10 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265231>
Nordqvist, C. (2013, August 26). "Fruits and vegetables may reduce bladder cancer risk in women." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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