Bladder Cancer Risk Factors

Some people are more likely to develop bladder cancer than others. You may be more likely to develop bladder cancer if you have the following risk factors:

  • Smoking: Smoking is the most significant risk factor for bladder cancer and smokers are three to four times more likely than nonsmokers to develop bladder cancer.
  • Older age: Bladder cancer is rarely found in those under 40.
  • Exposure to chemicals: Coal soot, arsenic in water, or chemicals used to make rubber, certain dyes or textiles increase risk. In the United States, safety measures limit arsenic level in public drinking water.
  • Previous cancer: A previous bladder cancer or previous cancer treatment, which involved certain drugs such as cyclophosphamide or radiation therapy to the abdomen or pelvis.
  • Family history
  • Hereditary conditions: Conditions such as hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC or Lynch syndrome) increase the risk for developing bladder cancer.