Bladder Cancer – What Increases Your Risk

The major risk factors for bladder cancer include:

* Smoking.
o Cigarette smokers are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as nonsmokers.1
o Pipe and cigar smokers have a slightly higher risk compared to nonsmokers, but the risk is significantly less than it is for cigarette smokers.
* Being older. Your risk goes up as you get older, and most people who get bladder cancer are close to their 70s.
* Being male. Men are 3 to 4 times more likely than women to develop bladder cancer.
* DNAchanges. These changes, which can be inherited or develop in your body on their own, can cause cells to grow too quickly or can keep cells from dying.
* Race. In the U.S., white people (Caucasians) develop bladder cancer twice as often as African Americans or Hispanics. Asians, Native Americans, and Alaska Natives have the lowest rates of bladder cancer.3
* Chemical exposure. Bladder cancer has been linked to chemicals called aromatic amines that are found in many products, including dyes, paints, solvents, inks, and the dust from leather. This risk may also depend on how much and how often a person was exposed to these chemicals.
* A history of treatment with cyclophosphamide or arsenic.
* A diet that is high in nitrates or rich in meat and fatty foods.
* Chronic bladder infections (cystitis), especially in people who have catheters in place all the time.
* A history of bladder cancer or a kidney transplant.
* A family history of bladder cancer.
* A history of radiation therapy or chemotherapy for treatment of endometrial or ovarian cancer.
* Schistosomiasis, which is an infection with the parasite Schistosoma haematobium. This condition is sometimes found in developing countries and rarely occurs in North America.

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