January 22, 2006

Sexuality after cancer treatment: What women can expect


This is an article that may be helpful concerning questions we have about sexuality and women survivors.
Click on link below to go to their website:
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Study finds nitrates increase bladder cancer risk. (EH Update)

Study finds nitrates increase bladder cancer risk. (EH Update)

Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2004 National Environmental Health Association

Nitrate in drinking water is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer, according to a University of Iowa (UI) study that looked at cancer incidence among nearly 22,000 Iowa women.

The study results suggest that even low-level exposure to nitrates over many years could increase certain types of cancer, said Peter Weyer, associate director of the UI Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination (CHEEC) and one of the lead authors. The study was published in the May 2001 issue of the journal Epidemiology.

"The positive association we found between nitrate contamination in drinking water and bladder cancer is consistent with some previous data. However, this is something that warrants follow-up research," said Weyer, who co-authored the article with James R. Cerhan, M.D., Ph.D., an investigator with the department of health sciences research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

The researchers assessed nitrate exposure from drinking water in 21,977 women who were participants in the Iowa Women's Health Study. The women were between 55 and 69 years of age in 1986 (at the start of the study). They resided in a total of 400 Iowa communities and had used the same drinking-water supply for more than 10 years. Approximately 16,500 of the women received their water from municipal water supplies; the remaining women used private wells.

No individual water consumption data were available, so the researchers assigned each woman an average level of exposure to nitrate. The assigned levels were based on data collected between 1955 to 1988 on nitrate levels in the community water supply each woman used. No nitrate data were available for women who used private wells.

The researchers used cancer incidence data from the Iowa Cancer Registry for 1986 to 1998 and adjusted for factors such as smoking and nitrate in the diet. They found a greater risk for bladder cancer as the nitrate levels in the community water supplies increased. Women whose average drinking-water nitrate exposure level was greater than 2.46 milligrams per liter (mg/L) (nitrate-nitrogen) were 2.83 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than women with the lowest level of nitrate exposure (less than 0.36 mg/L).

Nitrate is produced naturally within the body; environmental sources include food (including many vegetables), contaminated drinking water, cigarette smoking, and certain medications. Drinking water can account for a substantial proportion of the total nitrate intake. Up to 20 percent of ingested nitrate is transformed in the body to nitrite, which can then undergo transformation in the stomach, colon, and bladder to form N-nitroso compounds. These compounds are known to cause cancer in a variety of organs in more than 40 animal species, including higher primates.

Weyer emphasized that additional studies are needed to look at possible links between nitrate levels in drinking water and cancer, particularly with respect to refining exposure assessments.

"From a public health perspective, source water protection is a main concern. Sources of nitrate that can affect water supplies include fertilizers, human waste, and animal waste," he said. "All of us, rural and urban residents alike, need to be more aware of how what we do as individuals can affect our water sources and, potentially, our health."

For more information about this study, e-mail or call (888) 648-7283.

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January 16, 2006

Bladder Cancer Information

Bladder Cancer Information

  • Over 63,000 new cases per year in the United States; over a
         half million people in the U.S. have had the disease
  • worldwide it accounts for 330,000 new cases and 100,000 deaths each year
  • highest rate of recurrence of any cancer, including skin cancer; 50-90% recurrence within 6-12 months

  • 3 times higher incidence in men than women
  •  women have a higher mortality rate – the five year survival rate of women is less than the ten year survival rate of men
  •   women account for 1 in 4 new diagnoses, but they account for 1 in 3 bladder cancer deaths
  •        diagnosis in women may be delayed because symptoms are misinterpreted or attributed to other causes

  • firefighters are particularly “at-risk” –  2 times the incidence than the general population
  • According to the National Cancer Institute, the prevalence of bladder cancer in the U.S. has surpassed that of lung cancer and:
    • among U.S. males, there are almost as many new cases as colon cancer
    • among U.S. women, the prevalence of bladder cancer (140,000) is similar to the number of women with cervical (184,000) and ovarian (159,000) cancers.

  • most common risk factor is smoking.  Smokers are more than twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as nonsmokers. In the United States, smoking is estimated to be associated with about 50% of bladder cancer deaths among men and 30% among women.

  • occupational exposures to chemicals (aromatic amines) used in dry cleaning facilities and the production of dyes, paper, rope, apparel, rubber and petroleum products, combustion gases and soot from coal, chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons, and chlorination by-products in heated water have been associated with increased risk for bladder cancer  
  • most common symptom is blood in the urine, a condition referred to as hematuria 
  • when diagnosed in its early stages, a five-year survival rate of 94%
  • when diagnosed at an advanced stage, the five-year survival rate can be less than 10%
  • 25% of patients are diagnosed after the disease has become invasive or metastatic 
  • 2nd most common urologic malignancy in the United States
  • 5th most common cancer in the United States
  • 4th leading cause of cancer in men
  • Most common in men over 65 years
  • More than 13,000 deaths per year
For more information on Bladder Cancer, Awarenness, and Support, visit the Bladder Cancer WebCafe at:
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Symptoms of Bladder Cancer


Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

General information about signs and symptoms of Bladder Cancer: The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Bladder Cancer. This signs and symptom information for Bladder Cancer has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Bladder Cancer signs or Bladder Cancer symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Bladder Cancer may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Bladder Cancer symptoms.
List of symptoms of Bladder Cancer: The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Bladder Cancer includes those listed below. Note that Bladder Cancer symptoms usually refers to various symptoms known to a patient, but the phrase Bladder Cancer signs may refer to those signs only noticable by a doctor:

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer: Common symptoms of bladder cancer include:
·         Blood in the urine (making the urine slightly rusty to deep red),
·         Pain during urination, and
·         Frequent urination, or feeling the need to urinate without results.
These symptoms are not sure signs of bladder cancer. Infections, benign tumors, bladder stones, or other problems also can cause these symptoms. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor so that the doctor can diagnose and treat any problem as early as possible. People with symptoms like these may see their family doctor or a urologist, a doctor who specializes in diseases of the urinary system.1
1. excerpt from What You Need To Know About Bladder Cancer: NCI

Last revision: May 26, 2003
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