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These results were presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Urological Association.

Each year in the United States, close to 53,000 men and 18,000 women are diagnosed with bladder.[1] Many bladder cancers are thought to be caused by exposure to cancer-causing agents that pass through the urine and come into contact with the bladder lining. The most important risk factor for bladder cancer is smoking, which increases risk by at least fourfold.

Dietary supplements such as multivitamins are used by many people in the hope of reducing the risk of cancer and other diseases. Evidence that dietary supplements reduce cancer risk is limited, however, and some studies have even suggested that certain types of dietary supplements may increase cancer risk.

To explore the relationship between commonly used vitamin supplements and risk of bladder cancer, researchers evaluated information from the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) study.[2] The study enrolled more than 77,000 Washington State residents between the ages of 50 and 76. During five years of follow-up, 330 study participants developed bladder cancer.

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After accounting for other known risk factors for bladder cancer, the researchers found no link between vitamin C, vitamin D, or vitamin E and risk of bladder cancer.

People who are considering the use of dietary supplements such as vitamins are advised to discuss the risks and benefits with their physician.


[1] American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2010. Available at: Accessed June 2, 2010.

[2] Hotaling J, Wright J, Pocobelli G, Porter M, White E. Risk of urothelial cell carcinoma of the bladder in the VITamins And Lifestyle study. Presented at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Urological Association. May 29-June 3, 2010. San Francisco, CA. Abstract 1162.