Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer in men and women worldwide. According to CDC, 57,000 men and 18,000 women in the US are diagnosed with bladder cancer.
Bladder cancer begins in the urothelial cells that line your bladder. The disease can sometimes spread from the bladder to other parts of your body, such as lymph nodes or distant organs, like bones and lungs. Hence, it is vital to learn about the risk factors of bladder cancer and take necessary measures.
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Smoking is the most critical risk factor for bladder cancer. It has been estimated that smoking increases your risk of bladder cancer by more than three times. In fact, a study published in the JAMA Network concludes that it is the biggest risk factor accounting for 47% of bladder cancer cases in the US.
Cigarette smoking also causes a chronic cough or phlegm production due to inhaled irritants that affect both large and small airways. However, it can also cause long-term irritation and inflammation of cells lining these airways. This leads to abnormalities in cell growth, i.e., cancer.
Radiation Therapy for Other Cancers
Another risk factor for bladder cancer is radiation therapy. This cancer treatment involves exposing the body to dangerous high-energy rays, which can damage DNA and cause mutations that lead to cancer cells. Radiation therapy is often used to treat prostate and cervical cancers, Hodgkin lymphoma, and other types of leukemia.
Radiation therapy treats these cancers by killing the tumor cells with heat or freezing them in cold temperatures. As a result, healthy tissue surrounding the tumor may also be killed off or damaged by radiation exposure throughout the body, including your bladder and kidneys. You may be at an increased risk for developing bladder cancer if you have had radiation therapy:
- For another type of cancer in your chest area
- To treat conditions in your pelvis
Exposure to AFFF (aqueous film-forming foam) has been linked to bladder cancer. AFFF is a type of foam used in firefighting, and it contains chemicals that can be hazardous to human health.
Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to AFFF can increase the risk of developing cancers like the testicular, kidney, and bladder. This is due to the chemicals in AFFF that can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, leading to genetic mutations in the cells of the bladder.
It is important to take precautions when working with AFFF, such as wearing protective gear and avoiding prolonged exposure, to reduce the risk of developing bladder cancer. But if you still get bladder cancer due to AFFF exposure, you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturers.
Find an experienced lawyer, collect the required evidence, and file the Firefighter Foam Cancer Lawsuit. The lawsuit will allege that the manufacturer didn’t warn you of the potential health hazards of using AFFF. Hence, the manufacturer will have to compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. However, it is essential to pick an experienced attorney to ensure your win.
Personal History of Cancer
If you have had bladder cancer, your risk of recurrence is higher than average. If you are a smoker or drink alcohol, the risk of developing bladder cancer is even higher.
If your family has a history of certain cancers, such as breast, colon, or prostate cancer, then it is essential to know that there may also be a genetic link between them and bladder cancer.
Pioglitazone is a drug used to treat diabetes and has been found to increase the risk of bladder cancer. In people at high risk for bladder cancer, taking pioglitazone for more than three years could significantly increase their risk of bladder cancer.
This is proven in various studies. For instance, an article from Medscape analyzed six studies. These six studies involved over 215,000 patients. The patients were divided into two groups, one taking pioglitazone and the other not given this drug. The analysis concluded that the hazard of developing bladder cancer in patients consuming pioglitazone was significantly higher.
Men are more likely than women to develop bladder cancer, as you can see from the number of US men and women having the disease. Men have a 1 in 12 chance of developing bladder cancer during their lifetime, and it’s the eighth most common form of cancer for them.
Bladder cancer is most common among people who are older than 65 years old. The risk goes up as you get older because your immune system gets weaker as you get older, and this makes it harder for your body to fight off infections like bladder infections.
Race and Ethnicity
Race and Ethnicity are important risk factors to consider when it comes to bladder cancer. Studies have shown that certain racial and ethnic groups are more likely to develop bladder cancer than others.
For example, African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans are more likely to develop bladder cancer than Caucasians. Additionally, individuals of Asian descent may be more likely to develop bladder cancer than other racial and ethnic groups. Therefore, one must be aware of one’s racial and ethnic background when considering the risk of developing bladder cancer.
Age is a significant risk factor for developing bladder cancer. The incidence of bladder cancer increases with age, with most cases being diagnosed in individuals over 55. According to a study published on the NCBI website, 90% of bladder cancer cases are diagnosed in people aged 55 and more.
As people grow older, their cells naturally divide more times, which increases the likelihood of mutations and genetic changes that can lead to cancer. Additionally, the bladder is also more susceptible to damage and injury with age, which can also contribute to cancer development.
While some of these risk factors are unavoidable, many are. For instance, smoking, AFFF exposure, and pioglitazone are something you can easily avoid. Also, if you have a family history of bladder cancer or any other kind of cancer that runs in your genes, then talk to your doctor about what tests they recommend for early detection before anything becomes serious.