The aging process invites wrinkles, gray hair, changes inside and outside your body, and even increased susceptibility to bladder cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, the incidence of bladder cancer increases with age, with the average age at diagnosis being 73. Men are approximately three to four times more likely to develop this cancer during their lifetime than women — one in 26 compared to one in 90, respectively. Once present, however, the disease is 73 to 114 percent deadlier in women and African Americans in the first year after diagnosis.
The reason behind this was originally thought to be because of late diagnosis, but recent research has indicated that hormonal differences could account for why bladder cancer is deadlier in women than men once they are diagnosed. “There could be something different about the cancer itself, or there could be differences in the ways these groups are treated,” said Edward Messing, M.D., professor of urology and oncology at the University of Rochester.
The best remedy to ward off bladder cancer is early detection and treatment — stage I bladder cancer has an 88 percent survival rate, says the American Cancer Society. To lower their risk of bladder cancer, women should look no further than their kitchen. High consumption of fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of bladder cancer in women by more than half, says a recent study.
The study published in the Journal of Nutrition examined the possible effects of fruits and vegetables on the risk of bladder cancer, as part of the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) Study, which was established in 1993 to evaluate the connections among diet, lifestyle, and genetic factors in relation to cancer risk. The researchers in the study reviewed data that was collected from 185,885 older adults and found 581 invasive bladder cancer cases diagnosed in 429 men and 152 women.
This study group consisted of men and women who were between the ages of 45 and 47, reports Science World Report. The participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their eating habits. The researchers also factored in the risk factors for developing bladder cancer, such as age and gender. The results showed that women who consumed more fruits and vegetables and had a higher intake of vitamins A, C, and E were at the lowest risk for developing bladder cancer. Women who consumed high amounts of yellow-orange vegetables were 52 percent less likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer compared to women who ate the least amount of these colored vegetables.
The researchers did not find any link between high fruit and vegetable consumption and reduced risk of bladder cancer in men. "Our study supports the fruit and vegetable recommendation for cancer prevention," said Song-Yi Park, Ph.D., lead author of the study. "However, further investigation is needed to understand and explain why the reduced cancer risk with higher consumption of fruits and vegetables was confined to only women."
The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least two-and-a-half cups of fruits and vegetables a day to lower your risk of cancer. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that have cancer-fighting properties.
To naturally reduce your risk of bladder cancer, take a trip to your local market and stock up on these yellow-orange fruits and vegetables. They are brightly-colored foods that contain zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin A and C, according to Grace Derocha, registered dietitian and certified health coach.
- Ugli fruit
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut, acorn, and summer squash
- Orange and yellow peppers
- Yellow beets
For food recipes that involve these yellow-orange foods, visit A Healthier Michigan.