Archive for the ‘bladder cancer’ Category

Smoking Is Also Hazardous to Your Urologic Health.

November 26, 2016

It is given that smoking is deleterious to your lungs and heart causing lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease, just to name a few of the common medical conditions causes by smoking.  There are also urologic conditions that are affected by smoking.

Bladder cancer is 4th most common cancer in men with nearly 80,000 new cases each year in the united States.  Smoking causes harmful chemicals and drugs to collect in the urine.  These toxic chemical affect the lining of the bladder and increase your risk of bladder cancer.

Nearly 30 million American men have erectile dysfunction or impotence  This is usually due to a reduction of poor blood flow to the penis.  Smoking can harm blood vessels, when decrease the blood flow to the penis.  As a result, men will have difficulty obtaining and keeping an erection adequate for sexual intimacy.

Kidney cancer is in the top ten most common cancers in both men and women with nearly 60,000 new cases every year.  Smoking puts noxious chemicals from the lungs into the blood stream where it is filtered into the kidneys and can cause kidney cancer.

Kidney stones affect 1 million Americans and smoking is a known cause of having kidney stones and also for having recurrent kidney stones.

Painful bladder syndrome affects 12% of women.  The condition is irritated by smoking and produces more symptoms of pain and discomfort in the pelvis.

Overactive bladder (OAB) affects more than 30 million American men and women.  Smoking irritates the bladder and increase the frequency of urination.  Smoking also is associated with coughing that can increase urinary leakage.

Infertility caused by male factors affects 50% of all problems related to difficulty with achieving a pregnancy.  Smoking can harm the genetic make-up in eggs and sperm.  The infertility rate for smokers in nearly twice that for those men who do not smoke cigarettes.

Bottom Line:  Most people are looking for reasons to stop smoking.  There are so many medical conditions that are caused by or are made worse by smoking.  Talk to your doctor about some of the effective ways to achieve smoking cessation.

Bladder Cancer-Shedding “Blue” Light On Detection and Treatment

February 14, 2014

Blood mixed with any bodily fluids, such as sputum and stool is worthy of medical attention. However, blood in the urine is particularly ominous and requires prompt medical attention.
Bladder cancer is the ninth most common cancer worldwide, with more than 380,000 new cases each year and more than 150,000 deaths per year. It is more common in elderly and affects approximately four times the number of men than women. The US National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be 72,570 new cases of bladder cancer in the US in 2013 and 15,210 deaths.

If detected at an early stage, this cancer can be successfully treated and has a good prognosis. Nearly half of bladder cancer patients will experience cancer recurrence. A new technique, blue-light cystoscopy, is an improved option for the diagnosis and the treatment in order to reduce the recurrence of bladder cancer.

Bladder cancer occurs when cells in the bladder start to grow out of control, typically on the inner layers of the bladder. Some may spread into the deeper layers of the bladder, eventually penetrating the walls of the bladder, making it much harder to treat.

The most common initial sign of bladder cancer is hematuria or blood in the urine. A look into the bladder with a lighted tube or cystoscopy is recommended in all patients with symptoms suggestive of bladder cancer. This test is done in the doctor’s office and requires a local anesthetic to reduce the paint and discomfort of the procedure. There are two forms of bladder cancer: non-muscle invasive and muscle invasive bladder cancer.

Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer accounts for about 75% of all newly diagnosed bladder cancer cases. Most of these cases show a high probability of recurrence and 10-20 % will progress to muscle invasive bladder cancer. The treatment will consist of using a cystoscope to remove the affected bladder areas followed by post–operative treatment options such as early instillation of chemotherapy or instillation of BCG which stimulates an immune response to prevent recurrence of the cancer.

Cysview is a new modality for detecting bladder cancer. Cysview is a chemical agent used to detect early bladder cancer. This agent is instilled into the bladder prior to cystoscopy and will stain or highlight bladder cancer when using a blue light inside the bladder much more effectively than using the standard white light of the conventional cystoscope. As a result the blue light cystoscopy using Cysview exposes cancer earlier when it is confined to the lining of the bladder and is easily treatable by removing the tumor using the cystoscope. Also the blue light treatment leads to improved tumor removal, since every tumor detected can be removed at the time of diagnosis and not requiring any additional procedures.

Bottom Line: Cancer of the bladder is a common urologic condition. The hallmark symptom is blood in the urine, either microscopic or visible to the eye. A new diagnostic option is the use of blue light Cysview that helps with the diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer. For more information see your urologist.

Bladder Cancer-It Now Has To Pass the Smell Test

November 3, 2013

Researchers from the University of Liverpool and University of the West of England, have built a device that can read odors in urine to help diagnose patients with early signs of bladder cancer.

There are currently no reliable biomarkers to screen patients for bladder cancer in the same way that there are for breast and prostate cancers. Previous research has suggested that a particular odor in the urine could be detected by dogs trained to recognize the scent, indicating that methods of diagnoses could be based on the smell of certain gases.
The ODOREADER ® contains a sensor which responds to chemicals in gases emitted from urine.
The device works by inserting a urine sample into the device. The ODOREADER® is capable of showing the diagnosis on the computer screen if the sample comes from a patient with bladder cancer.

It is thought that dogs can smell cancer, but this is obviously not a practical way for hospitals to diagnose the disease. This new device can give doctors a profile of the odor in urine. The device correctly diagnosed bladder cancer 100% of cancer patients who are known to have bladder cancer. The ODOREADER ® has the potential to dramatically cut costs of diagnosing balder cancer by avoiding repeat cystoscopies and bladder biopsies.

Bottom Line: New technologies are on the horizon for detecting bladder cancer. This is the first time that a device used to detect the odor coming from the urine may uncover bladder cancer.

Smoking and Bladder Cancer-Now Another Reason To Stop Smoking

October 2, 2013

Just Say "No"

Just Say “No”

Some important facts about bladder cancer include:
• Bladder cancer is the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S.
• More than 72,000 new cases of bladder cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2013.
• Approximately 15,000 people will die from the disease this year alone.
• Bladder cancer is three times more common in men than in women.
• One in 42 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer during their lifetime.

Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of bladder cancer than non-smokers. Smoking tobacco is the most important known risk factor for bladder cancer. Smoking has been shown to be responsible for half of female bladder cancer cases. The increase in the proportion of smoking-attributable bladder cancer cases among women is likely explained by the greater prevalence of smoking among women.
Here’s the good news: As with many other smoking-related cancers, smoking cessation was associated with reduced bladder cancer risk.
Bottom Line: Smoking is certainly implicated as a cause of bladder cancer. By stopping the use of cigarettes, you can decrease the risk of bladder cancer.

Diabetes Drug Linked to Bladder Cancer

June 19, 2012

Attached is a blog submitted by Elizabeth Carrollton who wants to alert us to the relationship of a diabetes drug, Actos, and bladder cancer.

When diet and exercise aren’t enough, medical professionals turn to trusted medications to help type 2 diabetes patients live longer and healthier lives. But many of the medicines that are aimed at improving diabetes can have the opposite effect on other bodily functions.
One of the most popular type 2 diabetes drugs on the market, Actos (pioglitazone), is also one that comes with the biggest dangers. Studies have linked this popular once-daily pill to an increased risk of bladder cancer, congestive heart failure (CHF), edema and other life-threatening conditions.
Worldwide, drug regulators have put the brakes on Actos. But in the United States, drug regulators have allowed Takeda Pharmaceuticals to continue its prolonged study into its drug while sales continue. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has done little to protect vulnerable Actos patients.

Evidence in Scientific Studies
Since Actos belongs to the thiazolidinedione drug family, medical professionals have had their doubts about the drug. The two other drugs in this family, both of which were also used in diabetes patients, have been pulled from pharmacy shelves because of serious medical dangers.
Even before Actos was mass marketed in 1999, clinical trials indicated problems. Studies showed links between Actos and bladder cancer, CHF, bone fractures, edema and blindness. Instead of holding the drug back for more research, Takeda launched a 10-year study into bladder cancer risks while sales of the drug skyrocketed. When the drug’s link to CHF was pinpointed, the FDA gave the drug a black-box warning instead of taking it off the market. (The black box is the strongest type of warning the FDA can require.)

Banned in Europe; Whistleblowing in the U.S.
Even after the initial results of Takeda’s bladder cancer study revealed that Actos patients taking the drug for longer than a year had a 40 percent increased chance of getting the disease, the FDA did little to regulate it. Instead, in 2011, the FDA added yet another warning to the drug’s label. At the same time, France, Germany and Canada took steps to restrict or remove the drug from the market.
Adding to the skepticism about Takeda’s truthfulness regarding Actos, a former medical reviewer for the company filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit. Dr. Helen Ge said that Takeda repeatedly lied to the FDA about the drug’s safety record.

Doctors Make Other Choices
While the FDA waits for Takeda to finish and publish its final bladder cancer study results in 2013 — and as the whistleblower’s Actos lawsuit makes its way through the court system — Actos continues to be readily available. However, many medical professionals have been opting to instead prescribe type 2 diabetes drugs with better safety records.
Bottom Line (by Neil Baum): Patients taking ACTOS should see their doctor and obtain a urine test and a urine cytology. If either of these tests are abnormal, then a cystoscopy is in order. This is a test to look into the bladder with a small, lighted tube to be sure no bladder tumors are present.

Elizabeth Carrollton writes about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for

Warning: Actos, a diabetes drug, is a potential link to bladder cancer.

June 23, 2011


The FDA is informing the public that using the diabetic medication Actos for more than 1 year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.

Information about this risk will be added to the “Warnings and Precautions” section of the label for Actos. The patient medication guide for these medicines will also be revised to include information on the risk of bladder cancer.

According to the FDA the risk of bladder cancer with Actos use was noted among patients with the longest exposure to Actos and in those exposed to the highest dose of the drug.

The FDA recommends that doctors should not use Actos in patients with active bladder cancer and use it with caution in patients with a history of bladder cancer.

Bottom Line: There is a slight increased risk of bladder cancer in patients using Actos for long periods of time.  If you are on this medication, I suggest that you speak to your doctor and arrange for a urine cytology test and possibly for a cystoscopy on a yearly basis.

Let’s Get To The “Meat” of the Matter-Red Meat and Bladder Cancer

August 2, 2010

Already linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, including cancer of the pancreas, red meat was found by a team of US researchers to be a possible cause of bladder cancer.

For the study, scientists assessed the intake of nitrates, nitrites and other components found in red meat, in some 300,00 men and women aged 50-71 year, in eight US states, and its relation to cancer.

The study participants were followed up for up to eight years. During that time, 854 were diagnosed with cancer of the bladder.

For those who can’t do without their bacon-cheeseburger, some good news: scientists found no associations between beef, bacon, hamburger, sausage or steak and bladder cancer.

But they did observe a positive association for red meat cold cuts and bladder cancer.

The culprits in the cold cuts are nitrates and nitrites which are added to meat when it is processed to preserve and enhance color and flavor.

The scientists found that people whose diets were high in nitrites had a nearly a 30 percent greater chance of developing bladder cancer than those who consumed the lowest amount of either compound.

What’s the bottom line: If you are at risk for bladder cancer or you have had bladder cancer, I suggest that you restrict your intake of red meat and cold cuts.  Your bladder will thank you!