Cancer Home > Bladder Cancer Cause
The exact cause of bladder cancer is unknown; however, people with certain risk factors are more likely to develop it. These risk factors include a family history of bladder cancer and tobacco use. While a risk factor is not the same as a cause, a combination of risk factors may act together to increase a person's risk of developing the condition.
What Causes Bladder Cancer?No one knows the exact bladder cancer cause or causes, and doctors can seldom explain why one person will get bladder cancer and another person will not. However, it is clear that the disease is not contagious and no one can "catch" bladder cancer from another person. Bladder cancer research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop the disease. A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chance of developing a condition. While these risk factors do not cause bladder cancer, they may act together to increase a person's risk.
Know the Risk FactorsSpecific bladder cancer risk factors include:
- Tobacco use
- Treatment with cyclophosphamide or arsenic
- Family history
- Previous history of bladder cancer.
The likelihood of developing bladder cancer increases as people get older. People under 40 years of age rarely get this type of cancer.
The use of tobacco is a major risk factor for bladder cancer. Cigarette smokers are two to three times more likely than nonsmokers to get bladder cancer. Pipe and cigar smokers are also at an increased risk.
Some workers have a higher risk of getting bladder cancer because of carcinogens in the workplace, such as:
- Workers in the rubber, chemical, and leather industries
- Metal workers
- Textile workers
- Truck drivers.
Being infected with certain parasites may increase the risk of bladder cancer. These parasites are common in tropical areas, but not in the United States.