Smoking is a well known risk factor for bladder cancer but researchers now say they have uncovered even more factors that could lead to the disease.
For the study researchers studied 298 patients with bladder cancer and 308 people who served as controls. The participants were surveyed about their smoking habits and their exposure to other environmental factors believed to be related to bladder cancer. Blood was also collected and measured for levels of nine arylamine-hemoglobin adducts -- proteins that form in the blood after exposure to the carcinogenic compound arylamine.
Arylamine is known to exist in cigarettes, permanent hair dyes, and other environmental sources. In all but one of the nine levels measured, researchers found higher levels in smokers than in nonsmokers, and the levels of all nine adducts were higher in cancer patients than in control subjects.
While smoking continues to be the greatest risk factor for bladder cancer, researchers say many nonsmokers are also at increased risk of bladder cancer due to exposure to arylamine from other sources and they say that more study should be done to identify the other non-smoking-related sources of arylamines.