“A direct correlation between bladder cancer and smoking.”

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Prof. Redouane Rabii.

The Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences (UM6SS) hosted, from February 11 to 13, the second edition of the North African Congress of Urology, organized by the Moroccan Association of Endo-Urology (AMEU) on the theme “Endo-urology: challenges and news”. This event was an opportunity to exchange knowledge and promote continuing education, thanks to the participation of Moroccan and internationally renowned experts in urology, gynecology, radiology and oncology. The president of AMEU, Prof. Redouane Rabii, tells us about the objectives of this meeting which highlighted the relationship between bladder cancer and smoking.

Le Matin: The Moroccan Association of endo-urology held the second North African Congress of Urology for three days. What are the objectives of this meeting?
Prof. Redouane Rabii
: As you know, bladder cancer is a common disease that can be fatal. It requires heavy treatment. Studies have shown for years that tobacco consumption, in addition to other factors, has an active role in the appearance of this cancer due to the massive presence of chemicals. This scientific event dealt with several themes relating to bladder and kidney cancer, prostatic pathology, urolithiasis, sexology, regenerative medicine, innovations in laparoscopy. The objective of this event is precisely to raise public awareness of the risks of tobacco combustion.
The congress also ended its work with a main theme of quality of life, highlighting the importance of water and sport and risk reduction for the prevention of various diseases.

You say bladder cancer is a common disease. Is this the case in Morocco?
Indeed, it is the second cancer in Morocco, after that of the prostate in men. We are also starting to detect this cancer more and more in women, mainly because of passive smoking. The smoke produced by the combustion of tobacco releases many toxic products. In Morocco, 60% of bladder cancers are also detected late, which implies very heavy treatment.

What are the main causes that can trigger this cancer?
There is a direct link between bladder cancer and cigarette smoking. The risk is greater when the duration is long and the number of cigarettes consumed is greater.
It can be superficial, in which case monitoring is necessary. This can last up to twenty years. In the most serious cases, it unfortunately becomes mandatory to remove the bladder, which will be replaced by a reservoir.

How can we explain the relationship between cigarette smoking and bladder cancer?
The burning of tobacco is an inescapable factor in cancer and in particular that of the bladder. The toxic products which are eliminated at the level of the bladder attack the bladder mucosa and alter its cells, which will multiply in an anarchic manner and cause cancer.

What other cancers are aggravated by tobacco consumption?
There are many cancers, especially that of the lung, larynx … These pathologies are known and frequent.

What do you think of the tobacco risk reduction approach to preventing cancer?
The best thing is to avoid contact with tobacco. For smokers who have trouble quitting, substitute products and in particular heated tobacco would be a good alternative. Some studies show that there is a reduction of toxic products of 80% on average, which is enormous and logically if we are less exposed to toxic products, we would run less risks. The harm reduction approach has been proven in other areas and could also help solve many problems caused by smoking.


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