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Fluid intake tied to bladder cancer.

Men who drink plenty of fluids, especially chlorinated tap water or beverages made with tap water, may increase their risk of bladder cancer, according to a new study.

Previous research suggested a connection between chlorinated drinking water and bladder cancer (SN: 7/11/92, p.23). The new study adds a twist to that story by indicating that the amount people drink may prove important, especially if they rely on municipal water treated with chlorine.

Epidemiologist John E. Vena at the State University of New York at Buffalo and his colleagues compared the drinking habits of 351 men diagnosed with bladder cancer and a "control" group of 855 men without the cancer.

Interviewers asked the men about their daily fluid intake, including their use of alcoholic beverages, soda, milk, coffee, tea, and water drawn directly from a faucet.

The results suggest that men who drink more than 14 cups of any type of fluid per day face a two to four times greater risk of bladder cancer than men who drink less than seven cups daily. The study appears in the just-released May/June ARCHIVES OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH.

The finding runs counter to traditional thinking, which holds that drinking lots of fluids would dilute any carcinogens present in urine. Vena points out, however, that a high fluid intake expands the bladder and thus may expose more of the bladder's surface to cancer-causing chemicals.

Next, the team looked specifically at the consumption of tap and nontap water. They discovered that drinking tap water, including water used to brew coffee or make juice, is an independent risk factor for bladder cancer. They found no link between alcoholic beverages or bottled beverages and the risk of this cancer, Vena points out.

These results should not discourage people from drinking adequate amounts of fluids, especially in very hot weather, Vena advises. However, people worried about bladder cancer could switch to bottled beverages or consider installing a home water filtering system, he says.
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Title Annotation:tap water consumption linked to bladder cancer in men
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jul 24, 1993
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