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New Study: Bladder Cancer Tied to Marijuana Use

Source: ONDCP March 24, 2006

The March 2006 edition of Renal and Urology News has some troubling news regarding marijuana and cancer. According to the study, substances in marijuana tend to stay in the bladder longer than substances in cigarettes. Martha Terris M.D., chief of urology at the Augusta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and professor of urology at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta noted that, "a large number of young men with a history of pot smoking had been presenting with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder."

HealthDay News reports:

"We noticed several younger patients who had developed transitional cell carcinoma were similar in that they all shared a history of marijuana smoking," senior study author and urologist Dr. Martha Terris, of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, said in a prepared statement.

Her team's study of 52 men, aged 44 to 60, with transitional cell bladder cancer found that 88.5 percent of them had a history of smoking marijuana. Nearly 31 percent still smoked marijuana at the time of the study.

"The literature has suggested that marijuana smoking increases the risk of head and neck cancer and lung malignancies, and that these tumors tend to develop earlier and behave more aggressively in marijuana smokers," Terris noted.

Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for bladder cancer. This study suggests that smoking marijuana may be as bad or worse a risk factor."

Marijuana: Harmless?