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Bladder Cancer


Bladder Cancer

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Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer that begins in the urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder. Urothelial cells are also found in your kidneys and tubes (ureters) that connect the kidney to the bladder. Urothelial cancer can also happen in the kidneys and ureters too, but it is much more common in the bladder.


Bladder cancer begins when cells in the bladder develop mutations (changes) in their DNA. These mutations tell the cells to multiply rapidly and continue living when healthy cells would die. With time, these mutated cells can break away and spread through the body.

Types of bladder cancer

The most common types of bladder cancer are

  • Urothelial carcinoma or UCC accounts  for 90% of bladder cancers. It begins in the urothelial cells that line the urinary tract.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma develops in the bladder lining in response to irritation and inflammation. Overtime, these cells become cancerous.
  • Adenocarcinoma accounts for about 2% of all bladder cancers and develops from glandular cells.
  • Other less common types of bladder cancer include micropapillary, plasmacytoid, sarcomatoid carcinoma of the bladder and small cell bladder cancer.

Risk Factors for bladder cancer

These are the risk factors that make you more likely to get bladder cancer:

  • Smoking

Smoking is the most dominant risk factor for bladder cancer. Smokers are at least 3 times more likely to get bladder cancer when compared to non-smokers.

  • Chemical Exposure

Long term exposure to certain industrial chemicals such as benzidine and beta naphthylamine can cause bladder cancer. Workers in the rubber, leather, textile, paint and printing industries have a higher risk of developing bladder cancer. If you work in such an environment, it is advisable to visit a gynecologist in lahore regularly to rule out anything dangerous.

  • Arsenic

Arsenic in drinking water has been linked with a higher risk of bladder cancer in some parts of the world.

  • Less fluid intake

People with less fluid intake might be at more risk of developing bladder cancer. People who consume more fluid, especially water, are less at risk, mainly because they empty their bladders more often. This keeps chemicals, toxins and bacteria from lingering in their bladder.

  • Race and Ethnicity

American and Caucasians are more likely to develop bladder cancer when compared to Afriricans, Hispanics and Asians.

  • Age

The risk of bladder cancer increases with age. 9 out of 10 people with bladder cancer are older than 55.

  • Gender

Bladder cancer is 4 times more common in men than women. 1 in 89 women has a risk of getting the disease but women are more likely to die from bladder cancer, and the reason is delayed diagnosis.

  • Chronic bladder problems

Bladder stones and infections may increase the risk of bladder cancer. Also people with prolonged or permanent use of urinary catheters are more likely to get bladder cancer.

  • Personal or family history

People who have already had bladder cancer once are more likely to develop bladder cancer again.If your blood relatives have a history of bladder cancer, you may have an increased risk of the disease. A family history of Lynch syndrome, can increase the risk of cancer in the urinary system, as well as in the colon, uterus, ovaries and other organs.

  • Bladder defects from birth

Usually the connection between the belly button and bladder disappears before birth. Sometimes, part of this connection remains and may become cancerous. Another birth defect is the bladder and abdominal wall fused together and leaving the inner lining of the bladder exposed. Such people are at a higher risk of getting bladder cancer.

  • Previous treatments

Long term use of chemotherapy drugs and radiation aimed at the pelvis is also considered a risk factor for bladder cancer.


Although there’s no guaranteed way to prevent bladder cancer, steps can be taken to help reduce the risk. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about a plan to help you stop. Take caution around chemicals and follow all safety instructions to avoid exposure. Increase your fluid intake. Choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables may help reduce your risk of cancer. Visit a gynaecologist as soon as possible if you fall in any of the above mentioned risk factors and experience any urinary problems.