A risk factor makes the chances of getting a disease or condition higher.
You can have bladder cancer with or without them. But the more you have, the greater the chances bladder cancer can start.
Some risks can't be changed such as your gender or genes. Bladder cancer is nearly 3 times more common in men than women. The risk of bladder cancer also goes up as you age. The number of people with bladder cancer rises sharply after age 55. How your genes work may also play a role:
Your chances of bladder cancer are also higher for:
Smoking is the linked to nearly half of all bladder cancers. Smoke and cancer-causing agents enter the bloodstream right away. These agents move through the whole body before being filtered out like normal waste. The kidneys filter the agents from the blood. They stay in the bladder until they’re passed from the body in the urine. As a result, the bladder walls are often exposed to concentrated levels of these agents. The agents irritate the inside lining of the bladder.
Certain jobs put you at risk of working with harmful substances. These greatly raises the risk of bladder cancer. These jobs carry the highest risk:
Cancer is more likely to start and grow in places that cause frequent irritation. This can happen with:
Doctors weigh the risk and benefits for tests and treatments. Some of them may raise the risk of bladder cancer:
A review of 15 studies suggest obesity is linked to a higher risk of bladder cancer. The reason is not known, but obesity is also linked to other types of cancer. Having too much weight causes stress on the body, making it work differently. Obesity may cause problems with:
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Bladder cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/genitourinary-cancer/bladder-cancer. Updated October 2017. Accessed August 3, 2018.
Can bladder cancer be prevented? American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/bladder-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html. Updated May 23, 2016. Accessed August 3, 2018.
General information about bladder cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/bladder/patient/about-bladder-cancer-pdq. Updated May 3, 2018. Accessed August 3, 2018.
SEER stat fact sheets: Bladder cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/urinb.html. Accessed August 3, 2018.
12/9/2013 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115106/Bladder-cancer: Zhu Z, Wang X, Shen Z, Lu Y, Zhong S, Xu C. Risk of bladder cancer in patients with diabetes mellitus: An updated meta-analysis of 36 observational studies. BMC Cancer. 2013;13:310.
7/21/2015 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115106/Bladder-cancer: Sun JW, Zhao LG, Yang Y, Ma X, Wang YY, Xiang YB. Obesity and risk of bladder cancer: a dose-response meta-analysis of 15 cohort studies. PLoS One. 2015;10(3):e011931.
Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.