BOSTON — Drinking plenty of fluids may provide men with some protection against bladder cancer, according to a study presented at the 10th AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held Oct. 22-25, 2011.
Although the study did not determine why increased fluid intake might be protective, Jiachen Zhou, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., a doctoral candidate in epidemiology at Brown University, hypothesized that the fluids may flush out potential carcinogens before they have the opportunity to cause tissue damage that could lead to bladder cancer.
Researchers evaluated the association between fluid intake and bladder cancer among 47,909 male participants in the prospective Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) during a 22-year period. HPFS is a long-term study of male health professionals who were aged between 40 and 75 years at enrollment in 1986.
Participants answered a questionnaire about fluid intake every four years. Researchers found that high total fluid intake (more than 2,531 milliliters per day) was associated with a 24 percent reduced risk for bladder cancer among men.
Researchers first found an association between fluid intake and bladder cancer risk in this cohort 10 years ago. The association was present but weaker in the most recent study. Detailed analyses revealed the association was stronger among younger men, and this may explain the weakened association over time. The researchers also observed that the men drank fewer liquids, particularly water, as they aged.
Although he warned against generalizing these findings to the wider population, Zhou said that physicians should feel comfortable recommending that patients drink plenty of fluids.
The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.
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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 33,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowships and career development awards to young investigators, and it also funds cutting-edge research projects conducted by senior researchers. The AACR has numerous fruitful collaborations with organizations and foundations in the U.S. and abroad, and functions as the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, a charitable initiative that supports groundbreaking research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients in an accelerated time frame. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care, and Educational Workshops are held for the training of young cancer investigators. The AACR publishes seven major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Discovery; Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; and Cancer Prevention Research. In 2010, AACR journals received 20 percent of the total number of citations given to oncology journals. The AACR also publishes Cancer Today, a magazine for cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers, which provides practical knowledge and new hope for cancer survivors. A major goal of the AACR is to educate the general public and policymakers about the value of cancer research in improving public health, the vital importance of increases in sustained funding for cancer research and biomedical science, and the need for national policies that foster innovation and the acceleration of progress against the 200 diseases we call cancer.