If those aren’t enough reasons to quit smoking, let’s add another… bladder cancer.
How does tobacco smoke affect the urinary system? Our complex systems are interconnected. As you inhale smoke from cigars, pipes and cigarettes you may only think of the effect on your mouth and lungs. However, once you inhale the smoke, cancer-causing chemicals contained in tobacco products enter the lungs and are absorbed into the blood stream. Your hard working kidneys then filter your blood to remove all of the “waste,” such as the carcinogens, which are then deposited into the urine. As the urine sits in your bladder, waiting to be expelled, the carcinogens damage the cellular lining of the bladder, increasing your risk of cancer.
What is the chance of being diagnosed with bladder cancer? American Cancer Society estimated that in 2015 there would be approximately 74,000 people in the United States that would be diagnosed with bladder cancer. Nearly 50 percent of those diagnosed will have been caused from being a tobacco smoker. Smokers are three times more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer than those who don’t smoke. With nearly 16,000 people estimated to have passed away from bladder cancer in 2015, why would you increase your chances? If you smoke, take a step today to a healthier you. Do it for your lungs, kidneys and your bladder. If you need help quitting, talk with your doctor about medications he can prescribe to help you and also take a look at helpful websites like SmokeFree.gov and BeTobaccoFree.gov.
Dr. Richard Long is a board-certified urologist with Pacific Urology. He sees patients in Concord, Walnut Creek and San Ramon. Dr. Long’s areas of interest include Robotic urologic surgery, bladder and prostate cancer, prostate enlargement, female urology, erectile dysfunction and kidney stones. Dr. Long can be reached at 925-937-7740 or www.pacific-urology.com