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Bladder Cancer Risk Factors   

The exact causes of bladder cancer are not well known. However, certain factors are identified as contributors in the development of the disease. The most common include:  

Tobacco – cigarette smoke is the major causative factor of bladder cancer and many other cancers. Tobacco use – including first or second hand cigarette smoke and chewing tobacco - is the enemy of your respiratory and urinary systems. Tobacco contains toxic substances that pass into your bloodstream and collected in your urinary tract. Their accumulation in your organism can lead to a variety of disease including many types of cancers. In fact, it is estimated that smokers face a risk twice as high of bladder cancer compared to non-smokers. Approximately 50% of bladder cancer victims are smokers or former smokers.  

Age - with age, the risk of bladder cancer increases; majority of people diagnosed with bladder cancer are aged 65 or over. This may be due to aging of the cells and prolonged exposure to pollution: cigarette smoke, toxic chemicals, etc.  

Exposure to chemicals - prolonged or constant contact with certain toxic substances such as polycyclic aromatic amine (inks, dyes, etc.), hydrocarbons and some solvents can promote the occurrence of bladder cancer. In addition, certain chemicals used in hairdressing salons, workshops, paint, textile companies, and industries producing dyes, leather and rubber can concentrate in your urine and leads to the development of bladder cancer. 

Family history of cancer – certain cancers such as bladder cancer rarely run in families; however, over the years, researchers have found some cases of bladder cancer related to family history.  

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy - some drugs used in chemotherapy can significantly increase the risk of bladder cancer later in life. Among these drugs are cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and ifosfamide (IFEX); they are used in the treatment of breast cancer and lymphoma. In addition, radiation therapy for cervical cancer has increased the risk for developing cancer of the bladder.  

Race – researches have revealed that the risk of bladder cancer is twice higher among whites than people of African descent.        

Congenital birth defect of the bladder- although are, birth defect of the bladder such as bladder exstrophy increases your chance of having adenocarcinoma of the bladder.  

Sex - cancer of the bladder is about 3 times more common among men than among women 

Chronic urinary tract infection - persistent infection or inflammation of the urinary tract can lead to squamous cell carcinoma (squamous cell bladder cancer). The development of the cancer can be due to complications of the infection or prolonged use of urinary catheter.  

 

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