Smoking is an “equal opportunity offender.” It is just as deadly for women as it is for men when it comes to bladder cancer. Regardless of gender, one of the most important risk factors for developing bladder cancer is smoking. Let’s learn more specifics about the link between smoking and bladder cancer.
We normally think about the toxins from smoking settling in the lungs and causing lung cancer. Actually the carcinogens found in cigarette smoke linger for hours in the bladder as they pass out of the body through our urine. The time spent in the bladder leaves it exposed to high levels of deadly toxins.
This makes smokers at least three times more likely to get bladder cancer as non-smokers.
In addition, a study conducted by the NIH with 450,000 participants concluded that 50% of all cases of bladder cancer are smokers. If ever you needed a reason to quit smoking, this may be your ultimate motivation.
Additional Risk Factors For Bladder Cancer
Besides smoking being the key risk factor, there are other factors that can increase your chances of developing this cancer. Some others include the following:
- Your age (90% of cases are in people over age 65)
- Chronic urinary infections, kidney and bladder stone issues, and wearing bladder catheters
- A family history of bladder cancers
- Your race (White Caucasians are twice as likely as other races)
If you have any combination of these risk factors, be especially conscious of your risk and early symptoms, especially if you smoke.
Symptoms Of Bladder Cancer
Any kind of cancer is more easily and successfully treated if it is detected early. Some of the early signs include blood in the urine, frequent or burning urination, chronic and recurrent bladder infections, and back pain.
If you have any of the risk factors for bladder cancer and begin to experience the above symptoms, don’t delay seeing Dr. Allen.
Treatment For Bladder Cancer
If caught early, bladder cancer is highly treatable. Early detection allows doctors to remove small tumors using endoscopic surgery, plus utilizing chemotherapy, immunotherapies, and medications.
If the cancer has spread into the bladder itself, more invasive procedures are needed.
The one essential change you (or a loved one) can make to prevent bladder cancer is to stop smoking.
Contact Dr. Allen immediately if you experience any symptoms of bladder cancer.