A risk factor is any factor that is associated with an increased chance of developing a particular health condition, such as bladder cancer. There are different types of risk factors, some of which can be modified and some that cannot.
It should be noted that having one or more risk factors does not mean a person will develop bladder cancer. Many people have at least one risk factor but will never develop bladder cancer, while others with bladder cancer may have had no known risk factors. Even if a person with bladder cancer has a risk factor, it is usually hard to know how much that risk factor contributed to the development of their disease.
While the causes of bladder cancer are not fully understood, there are a number of factors associated with the risk of developing the disease. These factors include:
- tobacco smoking
- exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzene derivatives and arylamines
- exposure to radiotherapy treatment for cancers in the pelvis/lower abdomen.
If you have any of these risk factors or are concerned about your risk for bladder cancer, please see your doctor.
Stenzl A, Witjes JA, Comperat E, et al. Guidelines on bladder cancer: muscle-invasive and metastatic. European Association of Urology, 2012.