Bladder cancer is a cancer that starts in the bladder. The bladder is the body part that holds and releases urine, and is in the center of the lower abdomen.
Bladder cancer usually starts from the cells lining the bladder (transitional cells). These tumors are classified by the way they grow:
The exact cause of bladder cancer is not known, but several things may make you more likely to develop it:
Cigarette smoking: Smoking greatly increases the risk of developing bladder cancer. Up to half of all bladder cancers in men and several in women may be caused by cigarette smoke.
Chemical exposure at work: About one in four cases of bladder cancer is caused by coming into contact with to cancer-causing chemicals at work. These chemicals are called carcinogens. Dye workers, rubber workers, aluminum workers, leather workers, truck drivers, and pesticide applicators are at the highest risk.
Chemotherapy: The chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide may increase the risk of bladder cancer. Your doctor may prescribe a medicine to reduce this risk.
Radiation treatment: Women who had radiation therapy to treat cervical cancer have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer.
Bladder infection: A long-term (chronic) bladder infection or irritation may lead to a certain type of bladder cancer.
Research has not shown clear evidence that using artificial sweeteners leads to bladder cancer.
Symptoms of bladder cancer can include:
Other diseases and conditions can cause similar symptoms. It is important to see a doctor to rule out all other possible causes.