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Medical News & Perspectives
November 3, 2004

Chemicals Linked to Bladder Cancer in Smokers May Play Wider Role

JAMA. 2004;292(17):2072. doi:10.1001/jama.292.17.2072

Some of the compounds in tobacco smoke known to cause bladder cancer in smokers are also associated with increased cancer risks in people who have never taken a puff from a cigarette. A new study has found that compounds called arylamines can be linked to bladder cancer risk in nonsmokers as well as smokers, and may account for a significant proportion of nonsmoking-related bladder cancer in the general population (J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004;96:1425-1431).

“These results give a very plausible possible explanation for a lot of the unexplained incidences of bladder cancer,” said Paul Skipper, PhD, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, and indicate that environmental sources of these carcinogens should be investigated.