The main cause of bladder cancer, or most common risk factor in the United States, is smoking.
The second group of exposure risk factors include exposures to carcinogens or a history of radiation therapy for another cancer (for example, prostate cancer), or chemotherapy agents, mainly cyclophosphamide.
Another risk factor has to do with a job or occupational exposures to aromatic amines or benzene. There are also risk factors that are not exposures, but rather genetic changes people are born with and that cannot be changed. Sometimes these risk factors would include genetic changes that develop over the course of your life.
Another risk factor or cause of bladder cancer can be chronic inflammation and irritation in the bladder. An example of this would occur in patients who have a long-term indwelling foley catheter in the bladder. Over time, that chronic inflammation and irritation can be associated with the development of bladder cancer.
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