Men who drink plenty of fluids every day have a far lower risk of developing bladder cancer, the fourth most common cancer in men.
Drinking more than 2.4 litres of fluid every day halves your risk of developing the cancer, compared with men who daily drink less than 1.4 litres, researchers have found.
Acceptable fluids include milk, water, carbonated drinks, fruit juice, coffee, tea and even alcohol. Neither coffee nor alcohol were found to increase the risk of bladder cancer, researchers from the US Health Professionals Follow up Study found.
A total of 252 cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed among the 51,529 participants aged between 40 and 75, with age and smoking being closely associated with the disease. Fluid intake was inversely associated with the cancer. The risk of developing bladder cancer decreased by 7 per cent for every increment of 240 ml of fluid drunk every day.
Men who are smokers would particularly benefit from introducing more fluids into their diet, particularly as cigarettes are the only accepted cause of the cancer. Overall, the study found that smokers were three to five times more likely to develop bladder cancer (N Eng J Med, 1999; 340: 1390-7).