BACKGROUND: Approximately 56,500 cases of diagnosed bladder cancer
and 12, 600 deaths from the disease were estimated in the United
States for 2002. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of bladder
cancer by two to three times, whereas consumption of vegetables
and fruit may reduce the risk of this disease. Based on other studies,
vitamins E and C may hold some promise in reducing the risk of
either new or recurrent bladder cancers.
RESEARCH: Researchers tracked the health of 991,522 adults in
the United States from 1982 through 1998. During this time, 1,289
of the subjects died from bladder cancer. The researchers investigated
whether regular use of individual vitamin E or vitamin C supplements
(determined at study enrollment) was associated with a reduced
risk of death from bladder cancer. Information about supplement
use throughout the study was not monitored.
RESULTS: Approximately 9 percent of the subjects reported regular
use of vitamin E and 12 percent reported regular use of vitamin
People who took vitamin E supplements (dosages not reported) for
at least 10 years were 40 percent less likely to die from bladder
cancer. Neither a shorter duration of vitamin E supplementation
nor regular use of vitamin C supplements for any duration reduced
the risk of death from bladder cancer.
IMPLICATIONS: In suggesting possible benefits for
vitamin E, the researchers wrote, "If high doses of supplemental
vitamin E do inhibit bladder carcinogenesis, there could be potential
for bladder cancer treatment as well as for primary prevention."
Jacobs EJ, Henion AK, Briggs PJ, et al, "Vitamin C and vitamin
E supplement use and bladder cancer mortality in a large cohort
of US men and women," American Journal of Epidemiology, 2002;156:1002-1010.