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Proximity to Oil Refineries and Risk of Bladder Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Stephen B. Williams, MD, FACSChief, Division of UrologyAssociate Professor, Urology and RadiologyRobert Earl Cone ProfessorshipDirector of Urologic OncologyDirector of Urologic ResearchCo-Director Department of Surgery Clinical Outcomes Research ProgramUniversity of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Dr. Williams

Stephen B. Williams, MD, FACS
Chief, Division of Urology
Associate Professor, Urology and Radiology
Robert Earl Cone Professorship
Director of Urologic Oncology
Director of Urologic Research
Co-Director Department of Surgery Clinical Outcomes Research Program
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Despite prior studies evaluating cancer in those living near and working in oil refineries, there remains a gap in knowledge regarding proximity to oil refineries and risk of bladder cancer.

Aromatic amines have been associated with increased risk of various cancers including bladder cancer. Texas is a home to the largest numbers of oil refineries in the US. Our goal was to evaluate if there was a link between bladder cancer and living in close proximity to an oil refinery in Texas.

Our data did suggest that living within 10 miles of an oil refinery was associated with a small increase in risk of bladder cancer. These data support further research to validate these findings.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: We found a slightly increased risk of bladder cancer according to those living within 10 miles of an oil refinery. These are population data and further population based and individual level assessment are needed to validate these findings. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Our study evaluated a very provocative idea, that is, does living in close proximity to an oil refinery increase risk of bladder cancer. While population based using zip code and county level data our findings must be interpreted in the context of the study design. Further community and individual level based data collection to establish a cause and effect are needed.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response:  think it cannot be stressed enough that our study is simply hypothesis generating and cannot be used to deduce causation. 


The authors of this study had no disclosures 


AUA 2019 abstract: May 2019

Proximity to Oil Refineries and Risk of Bladder Cancer: A Population-Based Analysis 
Presentation Authors: Mohamed Ray-Zack, Preston Kerr*, Yong Shan, Jacques Baillargeon, Yong-Fang Kuo, Hemalkumar Mehta, Stephen Williams, Galveston, TX

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Last Updated on May 8, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD