Workers exposed to certain chemicals face an increased risk of bladder cancer. U.S. and Chinese scientists monitoring workers handling one such compound, benzidine, now report that two unconventional urine tests can often reveal who is developing bladder cancer long before tumors appear.
Bladder cells that are shed into the urine reflect the condition of the bladder's lining. To assess the two screening tests, the researchers periodically obtained urine samples between 1991 and 1997 from 1,788 Chinese men and women who had worked with benzidine dyes in clothing factories during the 1970s. The researchers also obtained urine samples from 373 unexposed workers.