Treatment of bladder cancer can probably cure the disease, but advanced stage cancers are difficult to control and cure. The exact cause of bladder cancer is not known but there are certain factors, which increase your risk of developing this cancer.
Risk factors that increase your risk of bladder cancer include:
- Age: The risk of cancer increases with age. It can occur at any age, but is unusual before the age of 40. It is most commonly found in people older than 65 years.
- Race and sex: The cancer is more common in whites as compared with people of other races. Men are more likely to suffer from bladder cancer than women are.
- Smoking: Exposure to tobacco (smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes) increases your risk of developing bladder cancer. The harmful chemicals in smoke accumulate in your urine, which probably damages the lining of your bladder and this increases your risk of cancer.
- Exposure to certain chemicals: Some chemicals that probably increase bladder cancer risk include arsenic and chemicals used in the manufacture of dyes, rubber, leather, textiles and paint products. If you smoke and are exposed to toxic chemicals, the risk of developing bladder cancer increases exponentially.
- Previous cancer treatment: Exposure to the anti-cancer drug named cyclophosphamide (for treatment of some other cancer), increases your risk of bladder cancer. Similarly, radiation therapy to the pelvic area for any previous cancer may increase your risk of developing bladder cancer.
- Chronic bladder inflammation: Risk of bladder cancer is high in people with chronic or repeated urinary infections or inflammation (cystitis) due to long-term use of a urinary catheter.
- Family history of cancer: If one or more of your close relatives has bladder cancer, your risk of developing the disease is high.
Not all of these risk factors can be prevented but many of them can be controlled such as smoking, exposure to chemicals etc. Here are some ways you can decrease your risk of developing this deadly cancer.
Tips to prevent Bladder Cancer
- Stop smoking: smoking is known to increase the risk of bladder cancer.
- Avoid exposure to arsenic and other industrial chemicals: such as arsenic and chemicals used in the manufacture of dyes, rubber, leather, textiles and paint products. If you are exposed to these chemicals because of your work, stop smoking. Smoking, in people who are exposed to toxic chemicals, increases the risk of developing bladder cancer.
- Eat healthy foods: According to experts, what you eat and drink probably influences or can prevent bladder cancer. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables (as these contain anti-oxidants and other substances, which protect against cancer). Avoid processed and high fat food.
- Have plenty of fluids: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water and avoid dehydration. Water can probably help to dilute cancer-causing chemicals and decrease your risk of bladder cancer.