Bladder cancer is a kind of cancer in which there is an uncontrolled cell multiplication and growth in the bladder cells. These bladder cells usually have metastatic property. The bladder cancer can be benign or malignant.
Bladder cancer is more usual among males than females.
Risk Factors of Bladder Cancer
The main recognized risk factors of bladder cancer are tobacco smoking, urinary schistosomiasis, and occupational exposure to aromatic amines. Other potential risk factors for the bladder cancer include urinary tract diseases, certain drugs, genetic factors, etc.
Cigarette smoking is a traditional cause of bladder cancer. The correlation between bladder cancer and cigarette smoking has been a subject of a number of epidemiologic studies, and all of them have showed approximately 2 to 3 times higher risk of the bladder cancer in ever smokers compared to nonsmokers.
The risk of cancer increases with both the number of years of smoking and the number of cigarettes a person smokes.
The carcinogen agents of cigarette include chemicals like aromatic amines, N-nitroso compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and reactive oxygen species (O2, OH, O2, H2O2, HOCl).
A meta-analysis study has shown that bladder cancer patients (73% of all participants were men and 77% were Europeans) reported an attributable risk percent for smoking of 48%. A dose-response relationship was observed between the number of cigarettes that the person smoked per day and bladder cancer cases up to a level of 15-20 cigarettes per day in both males and females.
Cigar, pipe and environmental smoking have also been recognized as risk factors for the bladder cancer.
- Occupations that have been related with an increased risk of bladder cancer involves rubber manufacturing, leather industry, metal industry, textile industry and truck driving.
- An excess risk of bladder cancer have been noticed in some occupations where exposure to PAH (workers employed in the aluminum industry, coal gasification and iron and steel foundry workers) is common.
- Occupational exposures include dyestuffs (aromatic amines), combustion products (4-nitrobiphenyl, 4-aminobiphenyl); lubricating oils, rubber and welding materials.
Three types of compounds contained in drinking water that are generally involved in the occurrence of bladder cancer are:
Urinary Tract Diseases
Urinary schistosomiasis is a disease which is caused by infection with a worm Schisostosoma. These worms live around the infected person’s bladder and release eggs which are released in the urine of person.
This infection is also a risk factor for bladder cancer. Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) can also lead to bladder cancer.
Drugs such as cyclophaspamide, aspirin, phenacetin, etc have been recognized as risk factors for bladder cancers.
Signs of Bladder Cancer Risk
Patients who experience the following symptoms are at higher risk of the bladder cancer:
The most common symptom is blood in urine (hematuria). Blood in urine may be noticed one day, but not the next. If the patient is having bladder cancer, blood eventually comes back. In some cases, blood is not visible in urine and doctors detect it with urine tests.
When the bladder cancer starts developing, patient experiences these symptoms:
- Unable to pee when there is an urge to pee
- Lowe back pain
- Hunger loss
- Swollen feet
- Feeling of extreme tiredness