March 02, 2022

5 Risk Factors of Bladder Cancer and an Emerging New Treatment

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Around 83,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year, and it accounts for approximately 17,000 deaths annually—75% of which are in men.

It’s the sixth-leading cancer in men, whereas bladder cancer is the 17th most common cancer in women.

Often, the only warning sign of bladder cancer is blood in the urine, and sometimes it can’t even be seen by the naked eye, so that’s why routine physical examinations are so vital.

Centers Health Care has a look at five risk factors of bladder cancer along with details on a new treatment that doctors are calling a game-changer.

  1. Smoking

Doctors say that smoking is the No. 1 risk factor for bladder cancer because toxins from cigarette smoke end up in urine, which comes into contact with cells inside the bladder, and the issues accumulate over time.

  1. Chemical Exposure

Industrial chemicals, diesel exhaust, arsenic in drinking water, and even the chemical Agent Orange that was used during the Vietnam conflict have all been linked to bladder cancer.

  1. Infections and Inflammation

A high number of urinary tract infections, radiation treatments, and even having been catheterized often can increase the risk of bladder cancer.

  1. Diet

A diet high in nitrates (highly processed meats) are considered a risk factor of not only bladder cancer but to colon cancer as well.

  1. Age

Most patients diagnosed with bladder cancer are in their late 60s or early 70s, as it tends to affect older people.

New Immunotherapy Option

After initial chemotherapy and radiation treatments, doctors have found great success using immunotherapy. These drugs act as a maintenance treatment to keep fighting the cancer cells and not allowing them to grow back. This treatment option wasn’t available until 2016, and doctors say it has dramatically improved the outcomes of many bladder cancer patients by both extending their life and maintaining their quality of life.

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