Bladder cancer quite often develops in combination with lung cancer. Therefore, for patients with carcinoma of the bladder, it is worth undergoing low-dose CT screening to detect the presence of lung carcinoma. This has been currently testified by scientists.
It is generally known that smoking can bring about lung cancer sooner or later, but only a few people know that smoking also makes the risk of having bladder cancer higher. This is explained by the fact that tobacco smoke contains carcinogens which penetrate in the blood through the lungs. They are filtered by the kidneys and then enter the bladder with urine, where they can remain for a longer period of time and have a negative effect. Therefore, smoking is the chief factor leading to bladder cancer. What is more, lung and bladder cancers are often found in combination.
To find out how often, in reality, both types of cancer occur simultaneously, scientists have analysed the data provided by two large American studies, namely, the National Lung Screening Trial and research on prostate, colorectal, lung and ovarian cancers. More than 200 thousand patients participated in both studies. Dr. Laura-Maria Krabbe of the University Hospital Muenster, a urologist, and Professor Yair Lotan of the Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas (USA) were able to ascertain that at least 4.1 or 5.0% of patients with bladder cancer had lung carcinoma as well, while 1.7 or 1.1% of patients with lung carcinoma suffered from bladder cancer.
Most patients with both types of cancer smoked 30 pack-years at minimum (for instance, one pack-year corresponds to 10 cigarettes smoked per day for two years or 20 cigarettes smoked per day for one year). When the study was being done, the participants were either active smokers or had given up this habit in the last 15 years before the start of this study.
As the risk of getting lung carcinoma is appreciably higher in patients suffering from bladder cancer than the average for the entire population, and lung cancer is an exceptionally fatal cancer, the authors of the study consider it reasonable to carefully examine patients with bladder cancer for the presence of lung carcinoma by using CT scanning with low-dose radiation exposure. While the five-year survival rate in the case with bladder cancer is about 70-80%, for lung cancer it is about 13-15%. The biggest problem is that lung carcinoma is usually diagnosed too late.