- The bladder, located in the pelvis, acts as a urine storage.
- Cancer of the bladder happens when cancer cells grow in the bladder’s lining and can also spread to the bladder muscles.
- Although bladder cancer is not common, several risk factors can increase your chances of developing such cancer.
The urinary bladder, a hollow, muscular, and elastic organ are responsible for collecting and storing urine before it is excreted from the body. The ureter acts as the passage of urine from the kidneys to the bladder. When the cells in the bladder grow abnormally or rapidly, it can develop into a tumor. The tumor can affect the bladder muscles, nearby lymph nodes, and even other distant organs.
Compared to other types of cancer, cancer of the bladder is among the most uncommon, and 10,000 people are diagnosed with it yearly.
Although cases are rare, several factors can increase your risk of developing bladder cancer. Below are some of them.
1. Family History and Race
If your parents and siblings had a history of cancer of the bladder or urinary tract, there is a big chance that you will have it also. It has also been shown that white men are most likely to experience bladder cancer.
2. Old-Age and Gender
Bladder cancer is seen mostly among older adults 60 years and older. Men are also most affected due to their higher likelihood of being exposed to chemicals, another risk factor for bladder cancer.
According to research, almost half of the cases of bladder cancer are due to smoking. It is also considered the most significant risk factor for cancer of the bladder. Tobacco contains many carcinogenic chemicals, and over the years, it can accumulate in your bloodstream and mix with the urine when filtered through your kidneys. These carcinogenic chemicals can cause changes in the bladder lining cells, which can result in a tumor. If you are a smoker, your risk of developing bladder cancer is four times greater than those who do not smoke.
3. Harmful Chemicals
If you are always exposed to chemicals or working in an environment that handles chemicals, your risk of developing bladder cancer is also high. Occupations that use and produce dyes, textiles, rubbers, paints, plastics, and leather tanning are some of these high-risk workplaces. Some of these harmful industrial chemicals include benzidine,o-toluidine, and xenylamine.
4. Recurrent Bladder Inflammation
Your risk of developing bladder cancer also increases if you have recurrent and chronic bladder infections.
5. Medicines for Diabetes
Medications for diabetes that contains pioglitazone can also increase the likelihood of getting bladder cancer.
6. Chemotherapy or Radiation Treatment
If you have been taking cyclophosphamide as a chemotherapy medication or have undergone radiation therapy, you have a higher chance of developing cancer of the bladder.