Bladder Cancer: Stats, Causes and Symptoms

October 23, 2018

There is a lot to be said about Bladder cancer, and the Austin Urology Institute is here to lay it all out. Bladder cancer is one of the most common cancers in the U.S. It affects approximately 68,000 adults in the United States each year. It begins in the cells that line the inside of the bladder, called urothelial cells. It’s most commonly found in the bladder, but this same type of cancer can be found in other parts of the urinary tract as well.

Bladder cancer is highly treatable at an early stage, and with the best urological cancer surgeon Texas has to offer, there’s even less for you to worry about. Approximately seven out of every ten bladder cancer diagnoses starts out at an early stage. Even if it is caught early, it can recur. Typically, those diagnosed with bladder cancer have follow up tests regularly after treatment to ensure they stay cancer free.

Researchers do not know exactly what causes most bladder cancers. But they have found links with some risk factors and understand that these risk factors can cause cells in the bladder to change to become cancerous. Some of these risk factors can be changed and are lifestyle choices, others cannot. Hear more about what Dr. Shaw and the Austin Urology Institute have to say, here.

Risk Factors for Bladder Cancer

  • Smoking and other tobacco use. This includes cigarettes and pipes. The use of “vaping” and marijuana are not well researched to determine if they are a risk factor.
  • Exposure to chemicals, especially on the job. Chemicals linked to bladder cancer risk include arsenic and chemicals used in the manufacture of dyes, rubber, leather, textiles and paint products.
  • Past radiation exposure, especially to the abdomen or pelvis.
  • Chronic irritation of the bladder lining due to bladder stones, long-term catheter use or frequent bladder infections.
  • Chronic parasitic infections. Schistosoma haematobium (S. haematobium) is a parasitic worm that infects the bladder. This is most often seen in developing countries and is very rare in the U.S.
  • Per the FDA, the use of a diabetes medication Actos (pioglitazone) for greater than one year may be linked with an increased risk of bladder cancer although this is still an area of active research.
  • Dietary supplements containing aristolochic acid (mainly in herbs from the Aristolochia family) have been linked with an increased risk of bladder cancer.
  • Long-term use of the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Procytox) with poor hydration may increase bladder cancer risk.
  • The risk of bladder cancer increases with age. It is estimated that nine out of ten diagnosed with bladder cancer are older than 55.
  • Caucasians are two times as likely to develop bladder cancer as African Americans and Hispanics.
  • Bladder cancer is more common in men than women.
  • Personal history of other cancers: Having cancer in the lining of any part of the urinary tract allows for higher risk of having another cancer.

While it is important to arm yourself with information and risk factors, one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself is get situated with a professional. If your health and wellbeing is important to you, consider going with the best urological cancer surgeon Texas has to offer, Dr. Koushik Shaw. His North Austin Urology practice has been setting the standard for Urological care for years and his dedication to his patients goes just as far.

If you’re interested in setting up a consultation or just want to get some more information, give us a call now. (512) 694.8888