Symptoms & Risk Factors

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Our Bladder Cancer Program provides innovative treatments and world-class care. For more information, connect with a cancer care specialist at 310-794-7700.

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer

A person may experience the following bladder cancer symptoms:

  • Blood in the urine either visible (gross hematuria) or found during a urinalysis examination (microscopic hematuria) is most common.
  • Frequent urination or feeling the need to urinate frequently without being able to do so (urgency).
  • Pain during urination (dysuria).

All these symptoms can be signs of other non-cancerous conditions as well, so it is important to talk to a doctor to determine if further tests are required.

Incidence - Risk Factors

There are a number of variables or risk factors associated with bladder cancer:

  • Age: As a person ages, his or her chances of developing bladder cancer increases. About 90% of bladder cancer occurs in individuals older than 55. While the average age is 73, bladder cancer can develop in younger individuals.
  • Gender: It has been shown that bladder cancer in men is 2 to 4 times more likely to occur than bladder cancer in woman.
  • Smoking: A person who smokes has a greater risk of developing bladder cancer than a non-smoker.
  • Certain Professions: People who work in an environment where they are exposed to carcinogens (substances that cause cancer) are more likely to get bladder cancer. Professions with the greatest risk are those that require the person to work with rubber, certain dyes, textiles, paint, and hairdressing supplies.
  • Anti-cancer DrugsCyclophosphamide (used for treating cancer) and iatrogenic standpoint (pelvic radiation for prostate or rectal cancer) can both increase the risk of bladder cancer.
  • Race: Non-Hispanic Caucasians are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer than African Americans and Hispanics.
  • Family History: Having a family member who has had bladder cancer increases a person’s likelihood of developing the disease.

Prevention