Bladder Cancer Risk Factors, Prevention & Treatment

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Risk factors help provide understanding of your potential of gaining a cancer diagnosis. But these risk factors by no means predict such disease. With understanding of your risk factors you know better what diseases to watch for or which behaviors to change, such as smoking. Many risk factors cannot be changed, such as your age or genetics.

Risk factors for bladder cancer include:

  • Risk factors you can eliminate or improve
    • Smoking
    • Exposure to cancer-causing chemicals at work, such as chemicals of the rubber, leather, textile, printing, painting product and hairdressing industries
    • Medicines and dietary supplements, such as some diabetes medications and supplements containing aristolochic acid
    • Drinking water with arsenic, rarely a problem in America
    • Not drinking enough water
  • Risk factors you cannot eliminate or improve
    • Race, with Caucasians being two times more likely to develop bladder cancer than African Americans or Hispanics
    • Age, with 90 percent of bladder cancer diagnoses occurring after age 55
    • Gender, with men suffering bladder cancer more often than women
    • Chronic bladder infections or irritation
    • Past history of bladder or other urothelial cancer
    • Birth defects of the bladder
    • Your family history of bladder cancer
    • Past chemotherapy or pelvic region radiation therapy

Preventing Bladder Cancer

There is no way to prevent bladder cancer. But you can reduce your risk for this type of cancer and others. Healthy choices reducing your risk of bladder cancer include:

  • Stopping smoking, as smoking links to about 50 percent of all bladder cancers
  • Limiting your exposure to workplace chemicals that cause cancer, such as those in the rubber, leather, printing, textile, hairdressing and paint industries
  • Drinking plenty of liquids, particularly water
  • Eating a healthy diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables

Treatment of Bladder Cancer

Treatment for bladder cancer depends on your cancer’s stage and other factors of your health. Treatment often includes multiple types of treatment. Surgery is one of the most successful treatment methods, often removing the tumors. Some tumors return, leading many people to undergo removal of the whole bladder in a procedure called radical cystectomy. But this surgery and life change causes major side effects in many people.

Treatments for bladder cancer include:

  • Surgery
  • Intravesical therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Immunotherapy