“Smoking marijuana might decrease the smoker’s risk for bladder cancer, a new study shows.
Retrospectively analyzing a large database of patients, researchers at Kaiser Permanente in California found that patients who reported cannabis use were 45% less likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer than patients who did not smoke at all.
“It’s very exciting because bladder cancer is hard to treat,” said Anil Thomas, MD, a urologist at the Southern California Permanente Medical Group…
Dr. Thomas presented the study here at the American Urological Association 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting.
“We know that tobacco smoking is the best established risk factor for bladder cancer,” Dr. Thomas told reporters attending a news conference. “But to date, there are no epidemiologic studies accurately characterizing the association between cannabis use and bladder cancer.”
Dr. Thomas told Medscape Medical News that he first got interested in exploring this topic while doing some laboratory work in which he exposed prostate cancer cells and bladder cancer cells to cannabis.
“The prostate cancer cells did not show an effect and the bladder cancer cells were devastated,” he said.
Some other research has suggested that cannabis might kill other types of cancer cells as well, he said. “I don’t think the full mechanism is known.””