May: Bladder, Melanoma and Skin Cancers Awareness Month

Bladder Cancer

The incidence of bladder cancer varies worldwide, with higher rates in Europe and North America (1,2).

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has clearly identified the causal relationship of smoking with urinary tract cancer in both genders (3). Several cohort studies in Europe and the USA have found that cigarette smoking is an important risk factor for bladder cancer (4,5) with nearly half of all bladder cancer patients to have a history of smoking (6).

Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes may increase the risk of bladder cancer by causing harmful chemicals to accumulate in the urine (7).


1. Burger M , Catto JW, Dalbagni Get al. . Epidemiology and risk factors of urothelial bladder cancer. Eur Urol2013;63:234–41.

2. Ferlay J , Soerjomataram I, Ervik Met al. . GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer2013.

3. International Agency for Research on Cancer. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Personal Habits and Indoor Combustions, Vol. 100E. Lyon, France: IARC2012.

Melanoma and Skin Cancer

Sunlight is the principal environmental risk factor for skin cancer, but other carcinogens have also been implicated, including tobacco smoke (1). 

Literature findings on the association of specific skin cancer types and smoking are conflicting. One metanalysis reported that smokers of both sexes had slightly increased risks of both basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), compared with never smokers (2) while a second one concluded that smoking increases the risk of SCC only (3). More recent findings showed that current smokers had significantly lower risks of BCC but up to 2.3 times higher risk of SCC when compared with non-smokers (4).


1. Dusingize, Jean Claude, et al. “Cigarette smoking and the risks of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.” Journal of Investigative Dermatology 137.8 (2017): 1700-1708.

2. F. Song, A.A. Qureshi, X. Gao, T. Li, J. Han. Smoking and risk of skin cancer: a prospective analysis and a meta-analysis. Int J Epidemiol, 41 (2012), pp. 1694-1705

3. J. Leonardi-Bee, T. Ellison, F. Bath-Hextall. Smoking and the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Dermatol, 148 (2012), pp. 939-946

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