Is Your Job Giving You Bladder Cancer?

May 9, 2019

Work is stressful enough. Then add on top of it the additional concern that it may be making you sick. Not sick of your job, but actually physically sick.

For example, would you be surprised if where you work and the materials you came into contact with could be causing bladder cancer? The fact of the matter is that certain jobs in certain industries put workers at higher exposure to industrial chemicals that are known risk factors for bladder cancer.

How Common is Bladder Cancer?

Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers in the U.S. This terrible affliction affects approximately 68,000 adults in the United States each year. It’s most commonly found in the bladder, but this same type of cancer can be found in other parts of the urinary tract.

Bladder cancer is highly treatable at an early stage. Fortunately, approximately seven out of every ten bladder cancer diagnoses start out at an early stage. However, even though it can be treated if caught early, it can also recur. Typically, those diagnosed with bladder cancer have follow up tests regularly after bladder cancer treatment to ensure they stay cancer free.

What causes bladder cancer?

Certain industrial chemicals have been linked with bladder cancer. These are chemicals that can be found in products from industries all across the board. Chemicals called aromatic amines, such as benzidine and beta-naphthylamine can cause bladder cancer. Occupational exposure to aromatic amines (2-naphthylamine, 4-aminobiphenyl and benzidine) and 4,4′-methylenebis(2-chloroaniline).

Am I working with these chemicals?

So, does your career put you at higher risk for developing bladder cancer? If you are a painter, hairdresser, machinist, printer, leather maker, truck driver or farmer or if you work in the plastics, metal, rubber or service industries you may be working with some of these harmful chemicals.
This means that you may have an enhanced risk of bladder cancer due to your exposure to workplace chemicals known to be risk factors for bladder cancer. This is not an uncommon occurrence. An estimated 25% of all bladder cancers may be associated with workplace exposures. Here is a list of a few industries that may have an increased risk of bladder cancer:

– Rubber industry
– Hair industry
– Plant or farming industry
– Plastics industry
– Metal industry
– Printing industry
– Leather Industry
– Textile industry
– Paint industry
– Transportation industry
– Service industry with exposure to any type of smoke

If I work in one of these industries, what can I do?

If you work in one of the industries above, there are some things you can do to help minimize your risk for bladder cancer. The best way to prevent your exposure to these chemicals (outside of switching jobs to a different industry) is by wearing safety and protective equipment provided at your job, limiting exposure to the chemicals, abstaining from a personal smoking habit (an additional risk factor), eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and drinking at least two liters of water a day to flush your bladder of any toxins that could be one of these bladder cancer causes.

How do I know if I’m at risk?

Typically, bladder cancer causes symptoms which include visible blood in the urine, microscopic blood in the urine found by your doctor or urologist, or chronic irritative bladder symptoms.

Although these symptoms are likely to be caused by something other than bladder cancer, it’s important to have them checked by your urologist so the cause can be found and treated. Tests performed on the urine, procedures to look into the bladder and imaging are all necessary to determine a bladder cancer diagnosis and the best bladder cancer treatment.

If you have questions or concerns regarding bladder cancer causes or bladder cancer treatment, schedule an appointment with one of our providers at the Austin Urology Institute at (512) 694-8888.