Bladder Cancer is the fourth common form of cancer that people develop in the United States alone. It is estimated that about 68,000 people are diagnosed with Bladder Cancer every year in the United States. This condition is seen to develop more in males than in females. Bladder Cancer normally develops after the age of 70.
Bladder is a muscular organ which functions by storing urine. Bladder Cancer normally develops when the cells of the inner layer of the bladder start to grow rapidly and uncontrollably. This form of cancer is treatable if diagnosed in the early stages, although the recurrence rate for Bladder Cancer is quite high.
An individual diagnosed with Bladder Cancer requires diligent followups which may run into years to prevent any progression or recurrence of the condition. Studies suggest that approximately 75% of Bladder Cancers are diagnosed in early stages and are successfully treated despite the close followups that are required even after being treated.
Who is at High Risk for Bladder Cancer?
In terms of cancer, any factor which increases the chances of an individual developing cancer although not directly causing it can be defined as a risk factor. Many people with high risk factors for cancer end up never having it and on the other hand there are many people who do not have any risk factor end up developing cancer. For bladder cancer, there are quite a few high risk factors which include:
Tobacco Use: Regular smokers are at an increased risk for developing Bladder Cancer. The chances of an individual who smokes developing bladder cancer is four to six times more than a nonsmoker.
Age: Age also is an important factor in the development of Bladder Cancer. People above the age of 65-70 tend to develop Bladder Cancer more than the younger population.
Gender: Males are more likely to develop Bladder Cancer than females; however, if a female develops bladder cancer then the prognosis for such females is poor when compared to males.
Race: Bladder cancer is more prevalent in African-Americans than Native Americans.
Chemicals: Exposure to certain chemicals increases the risk for Bladder Cancer. These chemicals are used in the rubber industry, in leather plants, and chemicals is used in making paints. Aromatic amines also increase the risk for Bladder Cancer significantly.
Chronic Bladder Issues: An individual with chronic and frequent bladder issues is at a high risk for developing Bladder Cancer. Conditions like bladder stones and frequent urinary tract infections also increase the risk of Bladder Cancer. Individuals who are paraplegic from waist down and need frequent catheterizations also are at increased risk for developing Bladder Cancer.
Chemotherapy Agents: Individuals who have had chemotherapy treatments for some other form of cancer tend to be at a very high risk for developing Bladder Cancer.
Colorectal Cancer: People with a prior history of colorectal cancer are also at an increased risk for developing Bladder Cancer.
Arsenic Exposure: Drinking water high on Arsenic increases the risk for Bladder Cancer. Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance found in abundance in well water.