UCSD LogoBladder cancer is said to be a kind of cancer that develops in the tissues of the bladder. Majority of the bladder cancers are believed to be transitional cell carcinomas. Study authors from Moores Cancer Center and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at University of California, San Diego seem to exhibit an apparent link between deficiency in exposure to sunlight, particularly ultraviolet B (UVB), and bladder cancer.

UVB exposure appears to activate photosynthesis of vitamin D3 in the body. This type of vitamin D is also said to be accessible via diet and supplements. Preceding studies from this study team have apparently displayed connections between elevated levels of vitamin D3 and lower threat of cancers of the breast, colon, kidney, ovary and more.

Cedric F. Garland, DrPH, professor of Family and Preventive Medicine in the UCSD School of Medicine, and member of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, commented, “Although nearly half of all bladder cancer cases are due to smoking, and some can be attributed to occupational exposures, we have not had a good explanation for the cause of the remaining 35 to 55 percent of cases. This study consistently showed bladder cancer incidence rates were higher in countries at higher latitudes, and lower closer to the equator.”

GLOBOCAN was built by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. GLOBOCAN is said to be a database of cancer occurrence, mortality and frequency for around 174 countries. This is said to be the team’s first report using GLOBOCAN data, which seems to have exhibited a similar pattern for kidney cancer.

The scientists apparently developed a graph with a vertical axis for bladder cancer occurrence rates and a horizontal axis for latitude. The latitudes apparently vary from -50 for the southern hemisphere, to zero for the equator, to +70 for the northern hemisphere. Subsequently, they jotted down age-standardized frequency rates for around 174 countries, as per latitude. The ensuing chart was believed to be a parabolic curve that resembled a smile.

Garland and co-authors warn that this was a study of aggregates, or countries as opposed to people. The discoveries that are relevant to aggregates may not be pertinent to individuals. If lack of vitamin D may be a threat issue for bladder cancer, Garland is of the opinion that the deficiency may be dealt with easy measures like vitamin D3 supplementation.

The study is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.