Several studies link diet to bladder cancer. Since breakdown products of food leave the body through the urinary tract, it stands to reason that diet plays a role. People who eat animal protein (meat and dairy) have a higher risk of bladder cancer than those who don’t eat it. On the other hand, plant protein lowers the risk.
A number of substances in meat may be to blame including the cancer-forming chemicals used in processed meat to preserve it and produce the characteristic red/pink colour and flavour. Cancer-causing chemicals (meat mutagens) produced when red meat and chicken are cooked at high temperatures also play an important role. The different amino acids (the building blocks of protein) found in animal protein compared to plant protein have been linked to the increased risk of bladder risk too. Or it may simply be that animal protein drives up levels of IGF-1, a growth hormone linked to a number of different cancers.
Whatever the cause, the fact remains that the more animal protein you eat, the higher your risk of bladder cancer. You do not need meat or dairy (animal protein) in the diet; find out what you do need to eat each day here.
Read more about bladder cancer.