While there can be unpreventable genetic and hereditary components related to the development of bladder cancer in some individuals, there are also important lifestyle factors that increase an individual's risk of developing the disease. In some cases this increased risk can be as much as 50% higher and more. Knowing ways to avoid risk by making healthier lifestyle choices is an important factor in preventing the development of bladder cancer.
· Smoking Cessation: Because smoking increases an individual's risk of developing bladder cancer by more than 50%, quitting is an important way to reduce the risk of developing this type of cancer. The National Cancer Institute has developed a program to help people quit smoking, including a toll-free number answered by a smoking cessation counselor who can help people get the help they need. For more information and the phone number, visit the NCI website here: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/tobacco/smoking
· Hydrate: Drinking clear, non-alcoholic liquids, especially water, dilutes and more regularly/quickly flushes out the toxic substances that can build up in our urine. Aim to drink at least eight, eight-ounce cups of water per day.
· Exercise Proper Nutrition: Choosing a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, especially those that contain antioxidants, has been studied in connection with a reduced risk of developing bladder cancer.
· Limit Exposure to Harmful Chemicals/Environmental Agents: Frequent and high-level exposure to certain dyes containing benzidine and naphtylamine has been associated with an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Most often, exposure to these substances is work-related. If you or someone you know may be exposed to these chemicals, knowing proper procedures for safely handling them is essential. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Labor and is the federal agency responsible for safety regulations regarding chemicals including benzidine and naphtylamine. Helpful information about safe handling and reduced exposure risk to these and other chemicals can be found here: http://www.osha.gov/workers.html