Urologist Intervention Essential in Tobacco, Bladder Cancer Risk

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Active smokers more knowledgeable of bladder cancer risk than former, never smokers.
Active smokers more knowledgeable of bladder cancer risk than former, never smokers.

For patients with bladder cancer, smoking status and primary source of information correlate with awareness of the harms of tobacco use, according to a study published in Cancer.

Jeffrey C. Basset, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues surveyed a stratified, random sample of bladder cancer survivors about tobacco use, risk factors, and sources of information on the causes of bladder cancer. Seven hundred ninety eligible participants completed the survey.

Of the cohort, 68 percent had a history of tobacco use and 19 percent were active smokers at baseline. The researchers found that the most cited risk factor for bladder cancer was tobacco use, with active smokers more knowledgeable than former or never smokers (90 versus 64 and 61 percent, respectively; P < 0.001).

The predominant source of information was urologists, with active smokers most often citing them (82 percent).

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Compared with never smokers, active smokers had 6.37-fold higher odds of endorsing tobacco use as a risk factor for bladder cancer, in multivariate analyses. Smokers who cited their urologist as their information source had 2.80-fold higher odds of believing their cancer was caused by tobacco use.

"Urologists play a critical role in ensuring patients' knowledge of the connection between smoking and bladder cancer, particularly for active smokers who may be motivated to quit," the authors write.


  1. Bassett, Jeffrey C., MD, MPH, et al. "Knowledge of the harms of tobacco use among patients with bladder cancer." Cancer. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.28915. November 10, 2014.

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