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Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is largely a disease of older adults, particularly those age 55 years and older, and occurs about 3.5 times as commonly in men than women. Smoking is a major cause of bladder cancer, accounting for up to about 25% of cancers in women and 50% in males. Certain workplace exposures may also increase bladder cancer risk. Studies have shown that workers in the trucking, dye, rubber, textile, leather, and chemical industries have a higher risk of bladder cancer. Long-term consumption of drinking water containing high levels of arsenic has also been shown to increase bladder cancer risk. The US Environmental Protection Agency recently lowered the regulatory standard for arsenic in drinking water from 50 ug/l to 10 ug/l due to concern that the higher standard was not protective of public health, particularly in regards to bladder cancer.
About 321 new cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed in New Mexico year 2013. The rate at which bladder cancer is newly diagnosed in the U.S., as well as in New Mexico, has remained fairly constant over the past 20 years.
In the U.S., bladder cancer occurs about three times more often in men than in women. It can occur at any age, but is rarely diagnosed prior to age 50. Bladder cancer is the 4th most common type of cancer in U.S. males and the 10th most common cancer in U.S. females. Bladder cancer occurs more frequently in Whites than in African-Americans, Hispanics, and persons of other race.
Scientists have found a few risk factors that make a person more likely to develop bladder cancer:
  • Smoking.
  • Occupational exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzidine or 4-aminobiphenyl, beta-naphthylamine.
  • Chronic bladder infection.
  • Treatment with anti-cancer drugs.
  • High levels of drinking water arsenic.
You can learn about known and probable carcinogens from Known and Probable Human Carcinogens at (external site).
There is no proven method to prevent bladder cancer, but steps can be taken to reduce the risk. The most important step is not to smoke, or to quit smoking. Other steps include being aware of and following health and safety rules to avoid exposure to chemicals on the job, taking steps to reduce or eliminate bladder infections, and having your well water tested if you own a well and live in an area where arsenic levels may be high.
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Content updated: Thu, 4 Jun 2020 16:26:02 MDT