Bladder Cancer Causes, Risk Factors And Prevention

Causes of bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers among other cancers. It affects men more than it affects women and it usually affects older adults though it can occur at any age. Bladder cancer occurs when cells in the bladder begin to grow and divide abnormally. When cells develop mutations to grow and divide uncontrollably and not die, these abnormal cells form a tumor.

bladder cancer causes

Causes of bladder cancer include:

  • Smoking and other tobacco use
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Past radiation exposure
  • Chronic irritation of the lining of the bladder
  • Parasitic infections
  • Congenital bladder abnormalities

It is not always clear what the definite causes of bladder cancer are but some patients show no obvious risk factors.

Risk factors of bladder cancer

Factors that may increase bladder cancer risk factors are:

  1. Smoking: Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes may cause harmful chemicals to accumulate in the urine. These toxic substances may damage the lining of the bladder which can increase the risk of cancer.
  2. Age: Bladder cancer risks increase with age. Although it is rarely found in people younger than 40 years of ae, it can occur at any age.
  3. Being white: White people have been proved to be more susceptible to bladder cancer than non-whites.
  4. Being a male: Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women are.
  5. Exposure to certain chemicals: Chemicals associated with bladder cancer are arsenic, those used in the manufacture of dyes, rubber, leather, textiles and paint products. The kidneys play a vital role in filtering harmful chemicals from the bloodstream and transporting them to the bladder.
  6. Former cancer treatment: Treatment with anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide increases the risk of bladder cancer and people who have been treated with radiation aimed at the pelvis for treatment of a previous case of cancer is at an elevated risk of developing bladder cancer.
  7. Chronic bladder inflammation: Repeated urinary infection as a result of the continual use of the urinary catheter may increase the risk of developing squamous cell bladder cancer. This is also linked to a parasitic urinary infection called schistosomiasis.
  8. Family genetic history: If one has had bladder cancer once, it is very likely they get it again. If one of the first-degree relatives- a parent, sibling or child has a history of bladder cancer, one has an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. A family history of lynch syndrome (or non-polyposis colorectal cancer) can increase the risk of cancer in the urinary system, the colon, the ovaries, the uterus and other pelvic organs.

Prevention of bladder cancer

There is no guaranteed way to prevent bladder cancer as is the case for any cancer. But there are guidelines to follow through considering the risk factors of bladder cancer:

  • Don’t use tobacco: Smoking or chewing tobacco increases exposure to carcinogenic substances. Deaddiction treatment, support groups, medications and other methods can help one quit smoking. Read more on 10 Tips On How to Quit Smoking {insert blog article link}.
  • Take caution around chemicals: It is important to follow instructions when handling chemical substances.
  • Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables: A diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of bladder cancer.

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