Bladder Cancer Risk Factors

Doctors can’t explain why bladder cancer occurs, but they have identified several risk factors for this type of cancer:

  • Smoking: Smoking is the biggest risk factor and causes most of the cases of bladder cancer. And the longer someone smokes, the greater the risk.
  • Chemicals in the workplace: Workers in the dye, rubber, chemical, metal, textile and leather industries may be at higher risk of bladder cancer. Also at risk are hairdressers, machinists, printers, painters and truck drivers.
  • Family history of bladder cancer: People in this category have a slightly increased risk.
  • Certain cancer treatments: People with cancer who have been treated with certain drugs, such as cyclophosphamide, or who have had radiation treatment to the abdomen or pelvis may face a higher risk.
  • Race and ethnicity: Whites are about twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as African Americans.
  • Age: About 9 out of 10 people with bladder cancer are over 55.