What Causes Bladder Cancer?
What causes bladder cancer and what are the symptoms of bladder cancer? Bladder cancer is the seventh most common type of cancer in men. It can also be seen in countries where cigarette consumption is more common. It is less common in women but has the tendency to progress much more aggressively.
The most common answer to the question of what causes bladder cancer is smoking and exposure to chemicals. Chemicals in cigarettes enter the bloodstream, filter through the kidneys and take their place in the urine accumulated in the bladder. These substances increase the risk of cancer by disrupting the structure of the cells.
Causes of Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is the second most common cancer among cancers that occur along the urinary tract, starting from the kidneys. Although the exact cause of bladder cancer is not known, there are risk factors that may cause it to develop. In addition, these risk factors can vary from person to person.
The most common factors are due to chemical substances, various infections, and drugs. Other factors include:
- Genetic mutations
- Various professions such as painting, dry cleaning, tire and chemical industry
- Schistosomiasis, a parasite that settles in the bladder
- Irritation caused by bladder stones in the bladder for long periods
- Some pain relievers and cancer medications
- Consumption of a lot of high-fat foods with additives
- Not consuming enough fluids and urinating late
- Men are 3 to 4 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than women
Bladder Cancer Diagnosis
When urinary bleeding is seen, bladder cancer is suspected, and the cause of the bleeding is determined primarily by imaging tests. The most successful method in determining the diagnosis of bladder cancer is cystoscopy. It is also possible to take samples from suspicious tissue using the cystoscopy method, where the inside of the bladder is imaged with a thin light instrument used in the urinary tract. At the same time, tumorous structures in the bladder can be cleaned during this procedure.
The urologist will first evaluate risk factors for bladder cancer, such as genetics, smoking or exposure to radiation. The urologist checks for the following during a physical examination:
- Systemic control determines if there is a sign of cancer
- Swelling in the abdomen and liver
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the groin, abdomen, and neck
Does Bladder Cancer Affect Other Organs?
Cancer cells tend to spread to other organs and tissues in later stages. When metastasis of the disease occurs, it may cause various symptoms depending on the area where the cancer spreads. For example, complaints such as coughing or bloody sputum may indicate that bladder cancer has spread to the lungs. The emergence of bone pain in bladder cancer patients may be a sign of the spread of the disease to the skeletal system.