Bladder Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

Bladder Cancer Causes and Risk Factors


Possible Reasons for Bladder Cancer

Even though it’s not always possible to define a certain reason for bladder cancer, doctors state that it may be connected with such an addiction as smoking, parasitic infection or exposure to radioactive and chemical elements.

This cancer occurs as a result of the bladder cells abnormal growth. Instead of growing and dividing as they normally do, there occur mutations. Consequently, the process of growing is no longer under control. Besides, these abnormal cells are unable to die as they normally should. Once there is a big number of such like abnormal cells accumulated, the tumor occurs.

There are the following types of bladder cancer:

  • Transitional cell carcinoma that attacks the cells covering the inside of your bladder. These transitional cells are able to expand once your bladder gets full and contract once it gets empty. Since there are the same cells covering the inside of your ureters and urethra, keep in mind that tumors can attack these areas as well. In the US, this type of bladder cancer is stated to be the most frequent to occur.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma means that these very squamous cells invade in your bladder. The invasion occurs because of irritation or infectious process. The crux of the matter is that the cells can turn into cancerous in future. In the US, the disease is considered to be quite rare. It occurs more frequently in those countries, where a particular parasitic infection (like schistosomiasis), serving as the main reason for bladder infection, is widely spread.
  • Adenocarcinoma that starts developing in the cells making up the mucus-secreting glands located in the bladder. This type of bladder cancer is rare in the US as well.

You are not to forget that, sometimes, bladder cancers involve more than one type of cells.

Risk Factors in Case You’re Dealing with Bladder Cancer

Bladder Cancer Risk Factors and Causes

There are several risk factors that may significantly contribute to your risk of facing the cancer in future. Below you’ll find a list of them.

  • Tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes results in harmful chemicals being accumulated in your urine. Therefore, you may have a higher risk of facing the cancer in future. When you inhale the smoke, the chemicals that are contained in it are processed in your body. Some of them are then excreted in your urine. These chemicals pose a threat to the lining of your bladder. If the lining is damaged badly by them, you may be more prone to having the cancer.
  • Your age. even though bladder cancer may occur at any age, the fact is that the older you are, the higher the risk of the disease is. However, it’s rarely detected in those people who are under 40.
  • Your skin color. Europeans are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease in comparison with other races.
  • Your gender. Here, they are exactly men than women who are more prone to having the disease.
  • Being exposed to particular chemicals. The key point here are your kidneys that are responsible for filtering harmful chemicals. They detect the chemicals in the bloodstream and move them towards your bladder. Therefore, there may be a link between particular chemicals and an increased risk of bladder cancer. The list of such like chemicals involves arsenic chemicals that are used in the manufacturing of dyes, rubber, leather, textile and paint.
  • Having already undergone treatment cancer procedures. For instance, if you were prescribed cyclophosphamide before (a particular drug used as an element of cancer treatment), be warned that your risk of bladder cancer may be higher. Those people who had radiation treatments directed at the pelvis (since they suffered from other cancer before), are as well more prone to being diagnosed with bladder cancer.
  • Taking certain drugs because of diabetes. If a patient have been taking Actos (certain pioglitazone prescribed in case of diabetes) for more than a year, his or her risk of fighting with bladder cancer in future is elevated. As for other diabetes drugs, they, as a rule, contain either pioglitazone in combination with metformin (the drug is called Actoplus Met) or pioglitazone in combination with glimepiride (Duetact).
  • Suffering from chronic bladder inflammatory process. Chronic or recurring urinary infections or inflammatory processes (called cystitis), that may occur due to the use of a urinary catheter on a long-term basis, may elevate your risk of facing a squamous cell cancer in future. In some countries, this type of carcinoma is known to occur due to chronic bladder inflammatory process the cause of which is parasitic infection. The infection is called schistosomiasis.
  • Cases of bladder cancer in your personal medical record or your family member suffering from it. If you have already had cancer, you’ll probably deal with it once again. In case some of your relatives suffered from it, your own risk of having it is elevated. However, this type of cancer doesn’t seem to run in families. If there is a Lynch syndrome (nonpolyposis colorectal cancer) that runs in your family, you may be diagnosed not only with urinary system cancer, but also with cancer that attacks other organs (including colon, uterus, ovaries etc.).

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