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Risk Factors and Statistics



  1. The average age of those diagnosed with bladder cancer is 73.
  2. 90% of patients newly diagnosed with bladder cancer are over the age of 55.
  3. 73,500 new bladder cancer cases are reported per year in the United States.
  4. 14,900 deaths are due to bladder cancer per year in the United States.
  5. Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men.
  6. Men are three times more likely than women to get bladder cancer.
  7. Overall risk of bladder cancer in a man's life is 1/26 or 4%.
  8. Overall risk of bladder cancer in a woman's life is 1/86 or 1.2%.
  9. Race factor: Those who are of Caucasian descent are more likely to get bladder cancer than African Americans, and African Americans are more likely to get bladder cancer than Hispanics.
  10. The largest risk factor for bladder cancer is smoking.
  11. Bladder cancer's fall into these statistical categories: Superficial: 50%; Muscle Invasive: 35%; Fat invasion: 10%; metastasized 5%.

Risk Factors

  1. Smoking: Smoking is the most important risk factor for bladder cancer.  Smokers are more than twice as likely to get bladder cancer as nonsmokers.  About 50% of the deaths from bladder cancer are among male smokers, and 33% of deaths from bladder cancer are among female smokers.
  2. Environmental Exposure: People who work in places that utilize certain dyes containing benzidine and naphtylamine are at a higher risk of developing bladder cancer.  Such industries include makers of rubber, leather, textiles, and paint products as well as printing companies.  Other workers with an increased risk of developing bladder cancer include painters, machinists, printers, hairdressers (likely because of heavy exposure to hair dyes), and truck drivers (likely because of heavy exposure to diesel fumes).
  3. Chronic bladder irritation: Patients with chronic bladder irritation due to bladder stones, chronic catheters in the bladder, and chronic infections are higher risk of developing squamous carcinoma of the bladder.
  4. Patent Urachus: In the developing fetus, there is a tubular opening between the belly button and the bladder, called the urachus. This opening normally disappears before birth.  However, if a portion of this connection remains after birth, it can become cancerous.  Cancers that start in the urachus are usually called adenocarcinomas.
  5. Chemotherapy: Exposure to the chemotherapy Cytoxan increases the risk of bladder cancer.
  6. Pelvic radiation: Exposure to pelvic radiation for prostate or rectal cancer increases the risk of bladder cancer.
  7. Family History: People who have family members with bladder cancer have an increased risk of getting it themselves.  In some cases, these family members may all be exposed to the same cancer- causing chemical.  They may also share changes in some genes (like GST and NAT) that cause their bodies to be slower in breaking down certain toxins, which may make them more likely to develop bladder cancer.  Only a small number of people with bladder cancer have inherited a gene that increases their risk.  These genes are as follows:
  • Retinoblastoma (Rb1) mutation: A gene can that causes cancer of the eye in infants, and also increases the risk of bladder cancer.
  • PTEN gene mutation: Also Known as Cowden disease this gene is linked to breast, thyroid and bladder cancer.
  • HNPCC syndrome: Hereditary non polyposis colorectal cancer syndrome, AKA Lynch Syndrome.  This syndrome is linked to an increased risk of colon, endometrial, urethral, and bladder cancers.


S. Adam Ramin, MD
2080 Century Park East, Suite 1407
Century City

Los Angeles, CA 90067
Phone: 310-277-2929
Fax: (310) 862-0399

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