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AUA: E-Cigarettes Can Also Cause DNA Damage to Bladder Mucosa

MONDAY, May 15, 2017 -- Both electronic cigarettes and traditional cigarettes are tied to an increased risk for bladder cancer, according to several studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held from May 12 to 16 in Boston.

Sam Chang, M.D., M.B.A., a professor of urologic surgery at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, and colleagues compared the urine of people who use e-cigarettes with that of nonsmokers. The investigators looked for five chemicals known to cause bladder cancer and may be found in e-cigarette liquid. Ninety-two percent of e-cigarette users tested positive for two of the five chemicals.

In a second study, researchers examined the effect of nicotine and its chemical compounds -- including nitrosamines and formaldehyde -- on DNA repair in urothelial cells. The researchers found that e-cigarettes triggered cancer-related damage to bladder tissue. The findings also showed that nicotine, nitrosamines, and formaldehyde led to damage while blocking DNA repair, boosting cancer risk.

For a separate study, researchers analyzed data on more than 14,000 adults with bladder cancer over three decades. The study compared five-year survival rates of those who smoked less than a pack of cigarettes a day to those who smoked more. Heavier smokers were at far greater risk of death during the study period than those who smoked less, according to the investigators. The scientists noted, however, that even a small reduction in smoking could improve survival in the bladder cancer patients.

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Posted: May 2017