11 Common Risk Factors for Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in American men, with over 60,000 new diagnoses in 2017 alone. The disease is much less common in women, but there were still approximately 18,000 new cases this year.

While anyone can get bladder cancer, there are a variety of different risk factors that can contribute to a person’s likelihood of developing it. Understanding what they are may help to lower risk or identify and treat the condition sooner. Here are 11 to be mindful of.

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1. Smoking

According to the American Cancer Society, smoking is “the most important risk factor for bladder cancer,” making a person three times more likely to develop the disease than those who don’t smoke. And while cigarettes are the primary concern, tobacco use in cigars and pipes also poses a danger.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America explains that during inhalation, cancer-causing chemicals from the tobacco can get into the bloodstream, which the kidneys will filter and later deposit into the urine. As the urine sits in the bladder, the source says, “the carcinogens present in the fluid can damage the cells on the bladder wall, increasing the risk of cancer developing.”

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