What is it about?

We evaluated the relationship between opium consumption and bladder cancer (BC) in a case-control study.

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Why is it important?

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and the ninth most common in women in the Western world [1]; it is the 12th leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States, with an age-adjusted yearly incidence of 17 per 100,000. In 2002, an estimated 56,500 new transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) cases and 12,600 TCC deaths were recorded. Tobacco smoking, chemical carcinogens, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, aromatic amines, some anticancer drugs, such as phosphoramide mustards, and schistosomiasis infection in endemic areas have been associated with risk of BC.


This is a typical hospital-based case-control study and has, therefore, all the relative strengths and weaknesses. The main limitation of this study was that it is not population based. However, the teaching hospital serve as the referral institution for most patients with BC in Iran and, with the enrollment of consecutive subjects, the selection process was less subjective. The elevated multivariate adjusted relative risks related to consumption of opium suggest that opium is likely to be the only cause of the emerging positive association of opium with BC in determining the increasing of the risk.

Dr Mohammad Reza Safarinejad
University of Medical Sceices

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Opium consumption and risk of bladder cancer: A case-control analysis, Urologic Oncology Seminars and Original Investigations, November 2010, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2008.10.016.
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