Smoking marijuana causes bladder cancer to appear very early in life.
Dr. Martha Terris, urologist at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta said that according to the study it was found that several younger patients developed transitional cell carcinoma, all shared a history of marijuana smoking.
She conducted her study on 52 men, aged 44 to 60, suffering from transitional cell bladder cancer. She found that about 88.5% of them had a history of smoking marijuana and 31% still continued smoking marijuana.
Cigarette smoking is a known risk factor for bladder cancer and this study proves that marijuana smoking can be equated to a similar outcome as that of Cigarette smoking. It causes the malignant transformation in transitional epithelium cells which forms the outer lining of the bladder.
The marijuana metabolites have a longer half-life in urine than the nicotine metabolites. Hence they stay for a longer duration in the bladder and have been found to have both anti-tumor and tumor-producing properties. The researchers have published their findings in the journal Urology.
Terris said that it is suggestive of bladder cancer when blood is detected in the urine specimen of a young patient and he should be questioned about the use of marijuana.
Many bladder cancer patients use marijuana to treat the side effects of chemotherapy and increase their appetite but this should be avoided as it would be doing them more harm than any good.