13 Often Ignored Bladder Cancer Risk Factors and Tips for Prevention

13 Often Ignored Bladder Cancer Risk Factors and Tips for Prevention
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Ever heard a nagging voice in the back of your head about bladder cancer? You’re not alone. This silent threat lurks, but the good news is you can fight back! Certain habits and factors can increase your risk, but the power to silence them lies within your grasp. This article unveils the biggest risk factors and equips you with powerful prevention tips. Take control of your health – keep reading to discover how!

Bladder cancer. It’s a term that isn’t often whispered in everyday conversations, yet it’s the sixth most common cancer in the United States. While whispers can spread rumors, understanding the whispers around bladder cancer risk factors can empower you to take control of your health.

Imagine your bladder as a balloon constantly filling and refilling with fluid. The lining of this balloon, much like a wall, protects you. But what if there were cracks in that wall, making it vulnerable? Risk factors are like those cracks – things that can increase your chances of developing bladder cancer.

The good news? Some of these whispers can be silenced! By understanding what elevates your risk, you can take steps to prevent them from becoming shouts. This knowledge is especially crucial because, while some risk factors are unavoidable (like age or family history), others are within your control.

So, are you ready to turn down the volume on bladder cancer risk? Let’s delve deeper and explore the whispers you need to hear to safeguard your health. We’ll uncover the biggest culprits, explore potential protective measures, and ultimately, equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions for a healthier you.

13 Risk Factors For Bladder Cancer

1. Smoking

People who smoke are at least three times as likely to develop bladder cancer as those who don’t. Smoking is blamed for about half of all bladder cancer in men and women. In fact, studies have found it’s the most common risk factor for this cancer.

When you smoke, harmful chemicals can accumulate in the urine and damage the lining of your bladder. That could lead to cancer. Avoid all cigarettes, cigars, and pipes to lower your risk of developing bladder cancer.

2. Arsenic in water

Several studies have suggested that ingesting high amounts of arsenic in drinking water is linked to a greater risk of bladder cancer. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why exposure to this element is related to cancer. Most of the drinking water in the United States contains low levels of arsenic, but this may be a concern for people in other parts of the world.

3. Workplace chemicals

Certain chemicals that are used in the workplace have been associated with a higher chance of developing bladder cancer. Studies estimate that occupational exposure to chemical agents is responsible for 18 percent of bladder cancer cases.

Doctors believe contact with certain agents leads to bladder cancer because your kidneys help filter harmful chemicals from your bloodstream and distribute them into your bladder.

Substances used in the manufacturing of rubber, dyes, leather, and paint products are thought to affect your risk of bladder cancer. Some of these chemicals include benzidine and beta-naphthylamine, which are known as aromatic amines.

You’re at an increased risk for bladder cancer if you work in the following professions:

  • painter
  • hairdresser
  • machinist
  • truck driver

That’s because people in those professions are exposed to harmful chemicals on a regular basis.

4. Medicines

Certain drugs have been linked to bladder cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that taking the diabetes medication pioglitazone (Actos) for more than a year may raise a person’s risk of developing this cancer. Other studies have shown no connection between use of the medicine and bladder cancer.

Cancer treatments, such as the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) or radiation therapy, may also raise the risk of bladder cancer. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about the medicines you’re taking.

5. Supplements

Dietary supplements that contain aristolochic acid may put you at risk for developing bladder cancer. This compound is often found in herbal products to help:

  • arthritis
  • gout
  • inflammation
  • weight loss

Avoid supplements that contain aristolochic acid to reduce your risk.

6. Dehydration

Not drinking enough fluids may be a risk factor for bladder cancer. Researchers think people who drink plenty of water each day empty their bladders more often, which may keep harmful chemicals from sticking around in the bladder.

While guidelines vary, in general, men should drink about 13 cups of liquids a day. For women, it’s about 9 cups a day.

7. Family history of certain conditions

If you have a family history of bladder cancer or the hereditary condition nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, also known as “Lynch syndrome,” you might be at an increased risk for bladder cancer. Certain mutations , such as those of the RB1 gene and the PTEN gene, may also boost your chances of having this cancer.

8. Bladder problems

Certain bladder problems have been linked to bladder cancer, including:

  • chronic urinary infections
  • kidney and bladder stones
  • bladder catheters that are left in for a long time

Schistosomiasis, an infection caused by a parasitic worm, also increases your chances of developing this cancer. This parasite is very rare in the United States.

9. Race

Caucasians are twice as likely as African-Americans or Hispanics to develop bladder cancer. Experts aren’t sure why this link exists.

10. Gender

Bladder cancer affects more men than women. In fact, men are three to four times more likely to get this cancer during their lifetime.

11. Age

Most cases of bladder cancer occur in older individuals. About 9 out of 10 people with this cancer are older than age 55. The average age that most people develop bladder cancer is 73 .

12. History of bladder or urothelial cancer

Having cancer anywhere in your urinary tract puts you at risk for another episode of cancer, even if your tumor was removed. If you’ve had bladder cancer in the past, your doctor will likely follow you carefully to make sure new cancers haven’t developed.

13. Bladder birth defects

People who are born with bladder birth defects might be more likely to develop bladder cancer. But these problems are rare.

Prevention of bladder cancer

You might be able to prevent bladder cancer by avoiding certain lifestyle behaviors. One of the most important changes you can make is to stop smoking. Also, try to avoid exposure to chemicals and dyes. Additionally, drinking plenty of water is another potential way to prevent bladder cancer.

Be sure to talk to your doctor if you think you’re at risk for bladder cancer or if you have a family history of this disease. Your healthcare provider may want to perform certain screening tests.

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About the Author: Elisticle Team

The Elisticle Team is a group of passionate content creators dedicated to empowering individuals through informative and engaging content. Their focus lies at the intersection of life, health, and finance, aiming to provide readers with practical tools and knowledge to navigate these essential aspects of well-being.Whether you're seeking to improve your health habits, make informed financial decisions, or simply live a more fulfilling life, the Elisticle Team strives to be your one-stop source for reliable and actionable content. Their work empowers readers to take charge of their well-being and make positive choices for a brighter future.

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