Risk Factors for Bladder Cancer
- Specific genetic mutations that affect cell DNA. These mutations can program cells to grow without control. Some genes do not break down toxins, which allow them to build up in the bladder, increasing irritation.
- Family history of bladder or other cancers.
- Structural birth defects of the bladder or urinary tract.
- Dye, leather, paper, rubber, and metal industries
- Barbers and beauticians
- People working with dry-cleaning chemicals
- Tar and asphalt workers
- Truck drivers
Bladder Irritation and Infection
- Bladder stones—A build up of minerals in the bladder can cause stones. Some stones travel from the kidney. If they do not cause symptoms, retained bladder stones can cause inflammation and irritation in the bladder.
- Infections cause bladder irritation. If infections are left untreated or come back frequently, the recurrent inflammation may increase your risk of bladder cancer. This may include bacterial or fungal infections, as well as sexually transmitted diseases.
- In rare cases, a parasite that lives in the bladder. Infection with certain parasites that live in the bladder are associated with increased risk of a specific type of bladder cancer. Though very rare in the United States, it is common in tropical regions of the world.
- Previous bladder cancer—Previous procedures and treatments irritate the bladder. Recurrence of bladder cancer is common.
- Long-term use of a bladder catheter—A bladder catheter is a tube used to drain the bladder of urine when the bladder is not able to do so normally. Catheters left in for long periods of time increase irritation and can lead to infection.
- Cyclophosphamide, a chemotherapy drug used to treat cancers and autoimmune disorders. This drug is toxic to the bladder.
- Radiation therapy to the pelvic region. Treatment for cervical or ovarian cancer may include radiation aimed at the pelvis. This may cause damage to the bladder, which is adjacent to these structures.
- Taking pioglitazone for more than one year is associated with a high risk of bladder cancer. This medication is used to treat type 2 diabetes. If you take this drug, talk to your doctor about alternative medications.
Regular Low Fluid Intake
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General information about bladder cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/types/bladder/patient/bladder-treatment-pdq. Updated May 29, 2015. Accessed June 26, 2015.
SEER stat fact sheets: Bladder cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/urinb.html. Accessed June 26, 2015
12/9/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Zhu Z, Wang X, Shen Z, et al. Risk of bladder cancer in patients with diabetes mellitus: An updated meta-analysis of 36 observational studies. BMC Cancer. 2013;13:310.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD
- Review Date: 05/2015 -
- Update Date: 06/26/2015 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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