Brenda Spriggs, MD, MPH, MBA
More than 14,000 people die of bladder cancer every year, the National Cancer Institute reports. Risk factors for bladder cancer include being obese, tobacco use and a diet low in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Eating a healthy diet and being physically active can significantly reduce your risk of bladder cancer. Additionally, adding certain foods that fight bladder cancer to your diet may further lower your risk.
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Natural 100 percent cranberry juice is rich in a unique compound known as quercetin. Drinking cranberry juice and other quercetin-containing foods may reduce bladder cancer risk, reports Jeevan K. Prasain of the University of Alabama. In research published in the June 2008 issue of "Oncology Reports," Prasain gave cranberry juice to rats with bladder cancer. The cranberry juice reduced the growth of cancerous cells in the bladder. Prasain hypothesized that quercetin interferes with the reproduction of precancerous bladder cells -- preventing them from forming cancerous tumors.
Green tea contains cancer-fighting epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. Drinking EGCG-rich tea reduces bladder cancer risk, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports. Green tea consumption may also boost survival rates of bladder cancer patients, the UMMC adds.
Tomatoes are one of the few foods that contain the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene helps prevent the cellular damage that leads to cancer of the prostate, reports Venket Rao of the University of Toronto. Rao adds in his paper published in the November 2000 issue of the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition" that people who eat lycopene-rich diets also significantly reduce their risk of bladder cancer. Fresh tomatoes are the healthiest source of lycopene, but ketchup and other tomato products also contain significant amounts of lycopene.
Almonds and other nuts contain the antioxidant vitamin E. Eating vitamin E-rich foods daily can reduce bladder cancer incidence by 40 percent, Science Daily reports. Other vitamin E-rich foods include olive oil and wheat germ.
- National Cancer Institute: Bladder Cancer
- PubMed Central: "Oncology Reports": Effect of Cranberry Juice Concentrate on Chemically-Induced Urinary Bladder Cancers
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Green Tea
- Science Daily: One Form of Vitamin E Appears Beneficial In Reducing Bladder Cancer Risk
- "Journal of the American College of Nutrition": Role of Antioxidant Lycopene in Cancer and Heart Disease