Bladder cancer is one of the most expensive cancer treatments due to the procedures as well as postoperative care. Thus it makes sense to take measures to prevent bladder cancer. There is no singular method to prevent cancer.
A balanced lifestyle including a balanced diet is the key to reducing the risk of every type of cancer. A lot of research is going into getting the correlation between diet and bladder cancer. The role of diet in the prevention of occurrence or even recurrence of bladder cancer needs more evidence. What the studies have revealed helps us learn more about what we eat and its association with cancer. individual studies have looked into the contribution of food to the cause and recurrence of bladder cancer.
Can Certain Foods and Drinks Cause Bladder Cancer?
There is no specific evidence that certain foods can cause cancer. On the other hand, there is strong evidence relating the intake of arsenic to bladder cancer. The surveys done have proved that consumption of arsenic-laden groundwater causes bladder cancer. Thus, it will be a good idea to get the water supply tested for any trace of arsenic and solve the issue.
As for food, whatever is bad for overall health is bad for the bladder. The contributing factors for ill-health and poor immunity are:
- Trans Fats.
- Cured meat.
- Excessive salt.
- Food coloring agents and preservatives.
- Refined food such as all-purpose flour, sugar, and white rice.
Ideal Diet for Bladder Cancer
After a comprehensive study of bladder cancer symptoms and all kinds of diets, the medical fraternity recommends a set of food items that can improve health for all. This healthy eating advice closely resembles the Mediterranean diet as instructed by many nations. This diet is simple to comprehend and easy to follow. It does not ask you to give up any food group and is most well-adjusted.
Along with that, the studies have unveiled the benefits of tea and organic food. So the diet that builds your health and helps prevent bladder cancer must have the following:
Fruits and Vegetables
At least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day are ideal. The more colorful they are, the more antioxidants they have. Antioxidants build immunity, repair cell damage, and help prevent degenerative diseases. They are anti-inflammatory.
Doctors highly recommend citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables. Sulforaphane compounds in cruciferous vegetables have cancer-inhibiting properties. Leafy greens and carotenoids from red-yellow vegetables are necessary too.
Here is the magic beverage that can decrease your risk of bladder cancer – a whopping 6% for every cup in a day. The polyphenols found in tea impact the growth of any bladder tumor. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate in green tea has anti-cancer properties. But the researchers believe any type of tea – black, green, or oolong – can be equally beneficial.
Get your carbohydrates from whole grains. Whole grains retain their fiber component. For potatoes, eat them with the skin.
Fiber plays an important role in a healthy diet. This also helps patients recuperate from bladder cancer treatment. Organic sources are better to ensure minimal chemical residue.
Beans and legumes with the skin on are a healthy addition to your diet. Polished pulses lose some of the nutrients.
If eating a non-vegetarian meal, opt for fish. Go for lean meats. Avoid red meat. Have eggs judiciously. Remember, animal sources of protein do not add to the fiber content.
Some studies link the consumption of milk, yogurt, and cheese with a reduced risk of bladder cancer. Since there were minimal studies, more statistics are needed to prove this.
Some Additional Diet Tips
Your meal should have all food groups in a proportion that helps maintain an ideal weight. So besides the recommendations listed above, there are some points to keep in mind.
- Avoid cured meat.
- Avoid, or at least, reduce sugar.
- Take nuts and seeds in moderation.
- Use minimal oil. The more natural your oil, the better.
- Avoid long-preserved cheese with live cultures such as Blue cheese or Brie.
- One should make appropriate dietary changes after bladder cancer treatment.
Supplements and Superfoods for Bladder Cancer
There is no link between any food acting as a miracle in bladder cancer treatment. Doctors recommend a ‘super-diet’ instead of any ‘superfood’. The ‘super-diet’ should include all the recommended foods for a balanced meal.
Natural supplements are gaining popularity recently. Some of them are curcumin, green tea, broccoli, and probiotics. All of these are available in pill form. Probiotics improve gut functions while broccoli controls in-vitro cancer cell growth.
Some researches hint that iron and vitamin D deficiencies lead to bladder cancer. But, the results have been inconclusive. If you are careful about a balanced diet, you should not need a supplement for bladder health. But, if you are not getting all the nutrients for various reasons, talk to your doctor.
Balance is the key. In case of any doubt, visit an Uro-Oncologist and get advice. Some of the best cancer hospitals in India, with state-of-the-art facilities, are ready to serve you.