How to Reduce Your Risk of Bladder Cancer

When it comes to reducing your risk of bladder cancer, you have more power than you might think.

Bladder cancer typically begins in the cells of your bladder’s inner lining, known as urothelial cells. Other types of cancer can also arise in this organ, including lymphoma, sarcoma and small cell carcinoma.

Avoiding Smoking

Though many are aware of the detrimental effects of smoking, many still do not realize it can also increase their risk for bladder cancer. Smoking is actually the leading cause of all bladder cancer cases – accounting for more than 50%.

Cigarette smoking exposes the bladder to a host of carcinogenic chemicals released into the bloodstream when you smoke. These agents can damage DNA and eventually lead to tumor formation, as these toxins are then filtered through urine and collected within the bladder.

When the bladder holds urine, it is more vulnerable to these toxins than other parts of the body. Not only is this exposure to cigarette smoke but other forms of tobacco as well as chemicals which may interfere with bladder function.

In addition to smoking, other factors that increase your risk for bladder cancer include drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and coffee and being exposed to toxic substances like solvents or dyes. Getting regular checkups is another effective way to lower your chances of this illness.

Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in America and more common among men than women. It likely arises as a result of both genetic and environmental influences, though smoking can be an important risk factor as well.

Smokers have an increased likelihood of developing more advanced and high-grade cancers, as well as receiving fewer treatment benefits than nonsmokers. Furthermore, they experience more frequent recurrences after treatment.

Experts agree that the most effective way to reduce your risk of bladder cancer is quitting smoking, according to Dr. Srinivas Vourganti, a urologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago who specializes in urinary tract cancers. “Smoking increases your likelihood,” he said.

Thankfully, quitting smoking is now easier than ever before. Many options exist to help you break the habit, such as support groups, medications and treatments that reduce addiction. But most importantly, experts advise making a commitment to stop smoking for good.

Avoiding Exposure to Certain Chemicals

By taking steps to minimize exposure to certain chemicals, you can reduce your risk for bladder cancer. These chemicals are present in many products we use daily such as personal care items, foods and beverages, household cleaners, air fresheners and more – so it pays off to take precautions!

The initial step to protecting yourself against hazardous chemicals is to stop using them or limit their exposure. You may need special equipment like masks, gloves and goggles for this task.

Another way to reduce exposure to these chemicals is eating a nutritious diet. This should include plenty of fruits and vegetables that are packed with antioxidants and other protective compounds that may reduce the risk of bladder cancer.

A diet high in fiber and low in fat can also lower your risk for bladder cancer. Eating one serving of beans, lentils or chickpeas each day will help boost your dietary fiber intake.

Smoking is a major risk factor for developing bladder cancer. Cigarette smoke contains toxins that enter your body from your lungs and then travel to your bladder, where they can damage cells of the urinary tract.

You can reduce your risk of bladder cancer by quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke. If you are a smoker, speak to your doctor about ways to quit and take the necessary steps for success.

According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use is the leading risk factor for bladder cancer. Smoking can increase your likelihood of developing this disease up to four times.

Chemicals can be a risk factor for bladder cancer, particularly in the workplace. Workers in industries that utilize potentially carcinogenic chemicals, such as dye, rubber, leather and metal, have an increased chance of developing the disease compared to those who do not work with these substances.

In addition to smoking and chemicals, other risk factors for bladder cancer include having a family history of the disease, being over 60, and having an infection in your urinary tract (urethral inflammation). The most common treatment is surgery to remove a tumor from the bladder. You may also receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy in order to destroy the tumor and prevent recurrences.

Avoiding Certain Cancer Treatments

If you are a newly diagnosed cancer patient or someone who has undergone treatment, avoiding certain cancer treatments could potentially reduce your risk for bladder cancer. These include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy (biologic therapy).

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that utilizes drugs to kill and destroy tumor cells. It may be used as an individual treatment or in combination with other types of treatments for cancer. Chemotherapy can be given directly through vein (intravesical chemotherapy) or taken as pills taken orally.

Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy rays to destroy tumor cells. It can be given as an individual treatment or combined with surgery, chemotherapy or immunotherapy as part of a comprehensive cancer plan.

Some cancer patients who have undergone radiation therapy to the abdomen or pelvis may be at an increased risk for bladder cancer. It’s essential that you discuss this possibility with your physician if you believe you might be at higher risk.

Bladder cancer occurs when genes alter, causing cells to divide too rapidly or live longer than expected. These changes may be inherited or acquired.

Inherited mutations are not common, but they can increase your likelihood of developing bladder cancer. If your family history includes any members with this illness, inquire with your doctor about genetic counseling and testing to detect any changes in DNA.

A healthy diet can also help lower your risk of bladder cancer by decreasing intake of unhealthy foods. Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants which may prevent cancer cells from growing. Citrus fruits in particular are excellent at this, helping to lower its incidence.

Consume fresh, organic fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of soluble fiber as well as vitamin C and folate. Doing so can help protect against bladder cancer while also strengthening your immunity and maintaining stable levels of vitamin D in your body.

Many of these nutrients are found in vegetables that contain cruciferous compounds, like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Furthermore, these cruciferous vegetables contain high amounts of isothiocyanates which have been known to have an anti-cancer effect.

Getting Regular Checkups

To reduce your risk of bladder cancer, schedule regular checkups with your doctor. This involves having them examine you physically, obtaining certain tests done and taking a full medical history.

These appointments often include recommended screenings for other diseases or conditions like breast and colon cancer, as well as preventive measures like smoking cessation or changes to eating habits. If you have health insurance, it may also include various other screenings and exams as part of its well-being program.

Always inform your doctor of any signs or symptoms that could be indicative of bladder cancer, such as blood in the urine, frequent or painful urination and acute or chronic discomfort in your bladder.

A urologist can examine you and look for signs of bladder cancer with cystoscopy. This involves inserting a thin tube into your bladder through the urethra and viewing its inside with light and camera. If anything unusual is discovered, it might be sent off to be analysed in a lab.

In addition to cystoscopy, your urologist may suggest other tests to detect and diagnose bladder cancer. These could include an ultrasound prior to the cystoscopy, a tissue sample (biopsy) during the cystoscopy, as well as either CT or MRI scans.

These tests can give your doctor a wealth of information about the cancer and its progression, as well as help them decide which treatments are most beneficial for you.

The primary risk factor for bladder cancer is smoking. However, it can also be caused by exposure to certain chemicals used in plastics, paints and textiles. These substances may remain in your system for several hours before you urinate and then enter the bladder where they can cause cancer growth.

If you are a smoker, it is highly recommended that you quit as soon as possible. Not only will quitting reduce your risk of bladder cancer, but also lung or other types of cancers.

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