Causes & Risk Factors

Researchers aren’t clear about what causes bladder cancer. Like all cancers, it could be caused by many things, including genetics. Despite not knowing the exact causes, researchers have found several factors that might affect a person’s risk of getting bladder cancer:

  • Age: A majority of people with bladder cancer are older than 55.
  • Family History: Having a blood relative who has been diagnosed with bladder cancer increases a person’s risk of developing the cancer themselves.
  • Being Male: Men are more likely to get bladder cancer than women are.
  • Smoking: People who smoke may have an increased risk of bladder cancer.
  • Chemical Exposure: Being exposed to certain chemicals, such as arsenic and chemicals used in the manufacture of dyes, rubber, leather, textiles and paint products can increase the risk of bladder cancer.
  • Race: For reasons not yet determined, White people have a greater risk of bladder cancer than do people of other races.
  • Chronic bladder inflammation: Chronic or repeated urinary infections or inflammations (cystitis) may increase the risk of a squamous cell bladder cancer.
  • Medications: If you’ve taken pioglitazone (Actos) for more than a year, you may stand a greater chance of getting bladder cancer.
  • Radiation Treatment: If you’ve had radiation therapy to your pelvis, you’re more likely to develop bladder cancer.

When to See a Doctor

If you have any continual signs or symptoms of bladder cancer, make an appointment with your doctor right away. Also, make an appointment if you contain any of the risk factors associated with the cancer.

Our Cancer Services

Depending on the type of cancer and how far it has spread, BASS Cancer Center and the BASS Medical Group offers a wide range of treatment options, including surgery, radiation therapy, and systemic therapies.   

Our state-of-the-art cancer center features a full-service medical oncology clinic, including infusion suite, multiple exam rooms, and a PET/CT scanner. We also provide the most technologically advanced radiation oncology treatment in California. Our cancer experts use an Elekta VersaHD CT-Guided linear accelerator with Visionrt’s AlignRT Surface Guided technology (SGRT) and an MR-Guided Linear Accelerator (ViewRay MRIdian).

The VersaHD and MRIdian augment each platform’s capabilities and give the patient and BASS physician an unprecedented ability to tailor a radiotherapy treatment course best fit for each person’s case. Our AlignRT SGRT platform utilizes innovative optical technology to accurately track a patient’s position before and during treatment without exposing them to any additional radiation (commonly needed by other radiotherapy platforms for maintaining setup). Additionally, SGRT allows some patients the choice to avoid permanent marks on their bodies.