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May is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

Published: 05/08/2017

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with bladder cancer, are a bladder cancer survivor, are caring for someone with the disease, or just want to know more, it’s important to get the facts and to keep moving forward with hope and determination.

Your bladder is the organ in your lower abdomen that stores urine. Bladder cancer occurs in the lining of the bladder. Bladder cancer is the 6th most common type of cancer in the United States. Being a smoker or getting exposed to certain chemicals increases your risk of getting bladder cancer.

 

What are the risk factors for bladder cancer?

  • Smoking: Smoking is the greatest risk factor. Smokers get bladder cancer twice as often as people who don’t smoke.
  • Chemical Exposure: Chemicals used in making rubber, leather, printing materials, textiles and paint products.
  • Race: Caucasians are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as are African Americans or Hispanics. Asians have the lowest rate of bladder cancer.
  • Age: The risk of bladder cancer increases as you get older.
  • Gender: While men get bladder cancer more often than women, recent statistics show an increase in the number of women being diagnosed with the disease.
  • Chronic bladder inflammation: Urinary infections, kidney stones, and bladder stones don’t cause bladder cancer, but they have been linked to it.
  • Birth defects of the bladder
  • Arsenic

 


Source: Maine Health Cancer Resource Center and The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network

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