Having an increased risk of bladder cancer doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically get it. However, as with a lot of other cancers, it is proven that if there is an aspect of your lifestyle that could lead to it, it’s in your best interest to change that behaviour. Bladder cancer is a particularly horrifying disease, causing a lot of pain to the person with it and lots of undue strain to their loved ones. Take a look at this list of risk factors associated with bladder cancer so you can lead a healthier life.
Those who light up regularly are three times likelier than a person who abstains from getting bladder cancer. Did you think it was just your lungs at stake? Think again. The chemicals in cigarettes, cigars and even pipe tobacco tend to build up in your bladder, mostly being excreted as a waste product, but with trace amounts that soak into the bladder and organs around it. It also just smells bad, and your body will thank you for quitting.
Working with or around certain industrial chemicals can cause bladder cancer. Chemicals frequently used in the dying industry are big culprits, called aromatic amines. However, even if you work in a more organic field, you aren’t safe. The chemicals used in tanning hides to make leather, or even diesel fumes have been shown to cause bladder cancer. Working in an industry that revolves around textiles is a big risk factor.
Taking Herbal Supplements
Taking a supplement that includes even trace element from the Aristolochic family can lead to a build-up of this harmful acid in your bladder and has been shown to cause a wide range of cancers, mostly affecting the abdomen. However, it isn’t just herbs you need to worry about. A popular diabetes medicine, though approved by the FDA, has been shown to cause bladder cancer, and your risk increases as you take a higher dosage.
Drinking-Water With Arsenic
The idea of arsenic in our drinking water is enough to send us running for the hills. Even the mention of ‘arsenic’ and ‘drinking water’ in the same sentence is enough to make us wash our hands extra thoroughly. Unfortunately, arsenic is able to occur in wild nature, and though you know how dangerous it can be, many people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water. Arsenic can kill you, but it can also cause bladder cancer.
Not Getting Enough Fluids
This is the easiest risk factor to change! Bladder cancer is so often caused by chemicals that linger in your bladder, but if you drink enough fluids, especially good old water, your bladder is emptied more frequently, and all that build-up is flushed out of your system. Because this risk factor is about not emptying your bladder enough, it really doesn’t matter what you do drink, but as always, cancer specialists say that water is best.
This is a risk factor that you cannot change, unlike many others listed here, but it is important to note that certain demographics have a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with bladder cancer. White people are often stricken with this disease at a much higher rate than any other ethnic group, and we aren’t quite sure why. However, both Asians and Native Americans have a slightly lower chance of being diagnosed. They still aren’t safe, but it is a slightly lower risk.
Cancer of any kind is not fun, but bladder cancer is particularly bad. It’s painful, for one, and causes incontinence issues that can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing.