Certain risk factors have been found that may dramatically raise your chances of acquiring bladder cancer.
Every type of cancer is attributed to nonmodifiable and modifiable risk factors. The first category includes age, gender, ethnicity, and family history. However, you may lower your risk of bladder cancer by modifying certain habits (modifiable factors) such as avoidance of exposure to certain chemicals and addictions.
Risk factors for bladder cancer
The risk factors for cancer of the bladder include:
- With advancing age, the risk of bladder cancer increases. Most cases of bladder cancer occur in the elderly. Approximately 9 out of 10 persons with this disease are above the age of 55 years. The average age at which bladder cancer develops is 73 years.
- Men are more likely than women to have bladder cancer. Overall, 1 in every 27 men will acquire this disease over their lifetime. The probability of bladder cancer in women is 1 in 89.
- Birth defects
- People who are born with bladder birth abnormalities such as bladder exstrophy may be predisposed to bladder cancer.
- Bladder exstrophy, an uncommon birth abnormality in which the bladder is flipped “inside out” during fetal development and fuses with the abdominal wall, raises the risk of bladder cancer. Furthermore, a part of the urachus (the link between the bladder and the navel) that persists after birth can raise the risk of developing bladder cancer.
- Bladder cancer strikes Caucasians two times as often as African-Americans or Hispanics. Experts are unaware of what causes this link.
- Family history of bladder cancer
- Research has reported that those with a first-degree family (parent, sibling, and child) with the illness are 1.8 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than the general population. Bladder cancer risk is also increased in spouses of people with the illness and people with a family history of other smoking-related diseases.
- Lynch syndrome
- Lynch syndrome is hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (noncancerous growth in the intestine) that runs in the family. If you have Lynch syndrome, you are at risk of acquiring urothelial malignancies, and annual screening is mandatory.
- Personal history
- A variety of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes may be involved in bladder cancer development. If you have previously had bladder cancer, you are more prone to acquire it again.
- Smoking is one of the most common risk factors for bladder cancer and is responsible for around half of all cases.
- If you smoke, your chance of developing bladder cancer is up to four times that of someone who has never smoked. Those who are most in danger are those who:
- smoke excessively.
- began smoking at an early age.
- have smoked for a long period.
- Other tobacco products, such as cigars and pipes, also raise your risk.
- Diet and water consumption
- High-fat, high-nitrate diets may raise the risk of bladder cancer. Reduce your risk by eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
- According to the American Bladder Cancer Society, people who drink enough fluids are at a decreased risk of bladder cancer.
- Certain medications
- Chronic use of some diabetes medications has been linked to an increase in the risk of bladder cancer. Some chemotherapy medicines can induce bladder wall irritation and raise the risk of bladder cancer. Furthermore, herbal pills containing aristolochic acid are thought to cause bladder cancer in some situations.
- Environmental factors:
- Excess chemicals in drinking water
- Places in the world with high arsenic concentrations in groundwater had greater rates of bladder cancer. Chile, Argentina, Taiwan, and several northeastern states of the United States are included.
- Arsenic is a naturally occurring chemical that if ingested in excessive quantities, can cause health concerns. The probability of being exposed to arsenic depends on where you live and whether your water comes from a well or a system that satisfies permitted arsenic levels.
- The most popular method of decontaminating drinking water for public consumption is chlorination. Trihalomethanes are created as a byproduct when chlorine or bromine is used to disinfect drinking water and can be harmful to one's health in excessive amounts. Many nations have now established maximum levels of drinking water.
- Occupational hazards
- Frequent exposure to chemicals routinely used in certain occupations may raise the risk of bladder cancer. Aromatic amines are one type of chemical. They are widely utilized in the textile, dye, rubber, leather, paint, and printing industries. Bladder cancer has also been linked to chemical exposure in truck drivers, hairdressers, and machinists.
- Excess chemicals in drinking water
What is a bladder cancer?
Bladder cells may undergo alterations due to various reasons. When abnormal, malignant cells develop uncontrolled in the lining of the bladder, it is referred to as bladder cancer. A urinary bladder is a hollow organ that holds urine. These malignant cells begin to disrupt bladder function and can spread to neighboring organs.
Bladder cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in men, and it affects men three times more than women. Though bladder cancer is often associated with chemical exposure, the reason is not always identified.
Bladder cancer is of two types:
- Nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer:
- It is also known as superficial bladder cancer and develops when malignant cells are retained inside the bladder lining and have not entered the bladder wall. This is considered early stage and accounts for about 70 to 75 percent of all diagnoses.
- Muscle-invasive bladder cancer:
- When cancer invades the bladder wall, it is called muscle-invasive bladder cancer. This is considered advanced stage and accounts for 25 to 30 percent of diagnoses. Muscle-invasive bladder cancer can spread (metastasize) to neighboring organs or other regions of the body.
Are there any other risk factors for cancer of the bladder?
Other risk factors have been found that may dramatically raise your chances of acquiring bladder cancer, which include:
- Previous radiation therapy for tumors near the bladder, such as colon cancer
- Previous treatment with some chemotherapy drugs, such as cyclophosphamide and cisplatin
- Certain therapies for type 2 diabetes (e.g., pioglitazone)
- Use of an indwelling catheter (tube) in your bladder for an extended period due to nerve injury that has resulted in paralysis
- Prolonged or recurring urinary tract infections
- Persistent bladder stones
- Schistosomiasis (bilharzia), is an untreated illness caused by a parasite that thrives in freshwater
- Exposure to chemical carcinogens such as benzene, arsenic, or mercury-like heavy metals