High daily fluid intake may help lower risks for bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is the fourth leading type of cancer among men in the United States. The American Cancer Society reports that bladder cancer is responsible for close to 12,000 deaths per year. Experts have theorized that the frequent movement of fluid through the bladder may reduce levels of contact between potential carcinogens and sensitive bladder tissues, thereby lowering cancer risk.
The risk of bladder cancer decreased by 7% for every increment of 1 cup in daily fluid intake. Men with the highest amount of fluid intake, more than ten 8-ounce cups/day, were at a 49% lower risk for bladder cancer compared with men who drank less than 5 cups/day. Risks did not seem to vary by beverage type, according to the authors, and no association with bladder cancer was found for caffeine intake. Because the underlying rate of bladder cancer is three to five times as high among smokers as among nonsmokers, smokers stand to benefit most by increased fluid intake.
The New England Journal of Medicine May 6, 1999;340:1390-1397, 1425-1426.
COMMENT: This is a powerful documentation of the value of drinking fluids. The study shows nearly a 50% reduction in men in the extremes of fluid intake in this relatively common cancer. The study did not show a difference in the type of fluid to obtain this benefit.
However, it is important to integrate what is known about other illnesses when evaluating this data. It is clear that the best fluid is pure water, free from chlorination. The most optimal water would be from an artesian well. If one does not have access to an artesian well, this type of water can be purchased in a bottled format.
However, for most purposes a filter will provide most of the benefits if you are hooked up to a municipal water supply. I find that the PUR Ultima is one of the better values on the market and it is available nearly everywhere.
While you are at it, you should also address your shower. It is also important to put a filter there if you do not have your own well. Most people will absorb more chlorine from their shower than drinking municipal water all day long. It is almost as if you are free basing chlorine in a hot shower as you will absorb large amounts through the water vapors directly into your lungs.
It is important to recognize that if you have a water softener you must use a reverse osmosis system to remove the salt and then filter the water. Lastly, it is wise to avoid distilled water as it will leach out important vital necessary minerals from your body.