Bladder cancer: symptoms, risk factors and prevention

Bladder cancer most often starts in the cells (urothelial cells) that line the inside of your bladder. Urothelial cells are also found in your kidneys and in the tubes (ureters) that connect the kidneys to the bladder. Urothelial cancer can also occur in the kidneys and ureters, but is much more common in the bladder.

Most bladder cancers are diagnosed at an early stage, when the cancer is very easy to deal with. But even early-stage bladder cancers can come back after successful treatment. This is why people with bladder cancer usually need follow-up exams for years after treatment to check for bladder cancer that comes back.

Main symptoms bladder cancer

Signs and symptoms of bladder cancer may include:

Blood in the urine (hematuria), which causes may give urine a bright red color or cola staining, although sometimes the urine looks normal and blood is detected by a lab test

Frequent urination

Painful urination

Back pain

When to see a doctor

If you notice that your urine is colored and you are concerned that it contains blood, make an appointment with your doctor to have it checked . Also make an appointment with your doctor if you have any other signs or symptoms that worry you.

Known causes of bladder cancer

) The bladder develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. A cell’s DNA contains instructions that tell the cell what to do. These changes tell it to multiply rapidly and continue to live while healthy cells die. The abnormal cells form a tumor that can invade and destroy normal tissues in the body. Over time, abnormal cells can break off and spread (metastasize) throughout the body.

Several types of bladder cancer

Different types of cells in your bladder can become cancerous. The type of cell in the bladder where the cancer starts determines the type of bladder cancer. Doctors use this information to determine the most effective treatments for you.

The 3 types of bladder cancer

Urothelial carcinoma

Urothelial carcinoma occurs in the cells that line the inside of the bladder. Urothelial cells grow when your bladder is full and contract when your bladder is empty. These same cells line the inside of the ureters and urethra, and cancers can form there as well. Urothelial carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is associated with chronic bladder irritation. Squamous cell carcinoma of the bladder is rare. It is more common in areas of the world where a certain parasitic infection (schistosomiasis) is a common cause of bladder infections.


Adenocarcinoma begins in the cells that make up the mucus-secreting glands of the bladder. Bladder adenocarcinoma is very rare.

Some bladder cancers include more than one type of cell.

Factors likely to increase the risk of bladder cancer:


Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes can increase the risk of bladder cancer by causing harmful chemicals to build up in the urine. When you smoke, your body processes the chemicals in the smoke and eliminates some of them in your urine. These harmful chemicals can damage the lining of your bladder, which can increase your risk of cancer.


The risk of bladder cancer increases with age. Although it can occur at any age, most people who are diagnosed with bladder cancer have more than 55 years old.

Be male

Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women. women.

Exposure to certain chemicals

The kidneys play a key role in filtering chemicals harmful chemicals in the blood and their transfer to the bladder. This is why it is believed that the presence of certain chemicals can increase the risk of bladder cancer. Chemicals linked to bladder cancer risk include arsenic and chemicals used in the manufacture of dyes, rubber, leather, textiles and paint products.

Chronic inflammation of the bladder

Chronic or repeated urinary infections or inflammations (cystitis), such as those that can occur during prolonged use of a urinary catheter, may increase the risk of squamous cell cancer of the bladder. In some parts of the world, squamous cell carcinoma is linked to chronic inflammation of the bladder caused by a parasitic infection known as schistosomiasis.

Personal or family history of cancer

If you have had bladder cancer before, you are more likely to get it again. If one of your blood relatives, parent, sibling or child, has a history of bladder cancer, you may be at increased risk of the disease, although it is rare for the bladder cancer is hereditary. A family history of Lynch syndrome, also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, may increase the risk of cancer of the urinary system, as well as the colon, uterus, ovaries, and other organs.

Preventing Bladder Cancer

Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent bladder cancer your bladder for sure, but you can take steps to reduce your risk.

No smoking

If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about a plan to help you quit. Support groups, medications and other methods can help you quit smoking.

Beware of chemicals

If you work with chemicals, follow all safety precautions to avoid exposure.

Choose a wide variety of fruits and vegetables

Choose a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables may help reduce your risk of cancer.

Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES can the information given replace the advice of a health professional.

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