Bladder Cancer Risk Factors

It is estimated that there have been more than 70,000 new cases of bladder cancer in the United States in 2012, and more than 14,000 deaths as a result. Although little is known about the exact causes of bladder cancer, the following risk factors have been identified as possibly increasing your chances of developing this disease.


Smoking greatly increases your risk of developing bladder cancer and is estimated to cause up to half of all bladder cancers in men and several types of bladder cancer in women.

Exposures at Work

It’s estimated that one in four cases of bladder cancer is caused by chemical exposure in the workplace, and exposure to arsenic, nitrosamines and benzidine have all been identified as known carcinogens. Dye workers, rubber workers, aluminum workers, leather workers, truck drivers and pesticide applicators are at the highest risk.

Chemotherapy and Radiation Treatment

Patients who have been treated with the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and those who have received radiation treatment to the cervix or pelvis have a greater chance of developing bladder cancer.

Bladder Infections

Chronic, long-term bladder infections (such as schistosomiasis, caused by a parasitic worm) and urinary stones that have gone untreated for many years could put you at a greater risk for certain types of bladder cancer.

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