Bladder Cancer

A number of factors may increase your risk of bladder cancer, including:

Smoking
Smoking may increase your risk of bladder cancer by causing harmful chemicals to accumulate in your urine. When you smoke, your body processes the chemicals in the smoke and excretes some of them in your urine. These harmful chemicals may damage the lining of your bladder, which can increase your risk of cancer.

Chemical exposure.
Your kidneys play a key role in filtering harmful chemicals from your bloodstream and moving them into your bladder. Because of this, it’s thought that being around certain chemicals may increase your risk of bladder cancer. Chemicals linked to bladder cancer risk include arsenic and chemicals used in the manufacture of dyes, rubber, leather, textiles and paint products. Smokers who are exposed to toxic chemicals may have an even higher risk of bladder cancer.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
Treatment with the anti-cancer drugs cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and ifosfamide (Ifex) increases your risk of bladder cancer. Studies of women treated with radiation therapy for cervical cancer have shown an elevated risk of subsequently developing bladder cancer. But the same doesn’t appear to be true for men who receive primary radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

Chronic bladder inflammation
Chronic or repeated urinary infections or inflammations (cystitis), such as may happen with long-term use of a urinary catheter, may increase your risk of a squamous cell bladder cancer. In some areas of the world, squamous cell carcinoma is linked to chronic inflammation caused by infection with a parasite.

Personal or family history of cancer.
If you’ve had bladder cancer, you’re more likely to get it again. Cancer can recur in your ureters or urethra as well as in the bladder itself. If one or more of your immediate relatives have a history of bladder cancer, you may have an increased risk of the disease, although it’s rare for bladder cancer to run in families. A family history of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), sometimes called Lynch syndrome, can increase your risk of cancer in your urinary system, as well as in your colon, uterus, ovaries and other organs.

Bladder birth defect
Rare birth defects of the bladder can increase your risk of adenocarcinoma of the bladder

Age
Older adults are more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer. Bladder cancer diagnosis typically occurs in people 65 and older. People younger than 40 rarely get bladder cancer.

Race
Caucasions have a greater risk of bladder cancer than do people of other races.

Gender
Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women are.