Quick Facts: What You Need to Know About Smoking and Bladder Cancer

Medically reviewed. Andrea Apolo

  1. Smoking is the biggest risk factor for bladder cancer in both men and women. 50% of all bladder cancer cases are related to smoking.
  2. Past studies showed that smoking is responsible for 28% of bladder cancer cases in women, and since 2011 the risk in women has increased to 50%.
  3. Current smokers are four times more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who have never smoked. Ex-smokers are twice as likely to develop the disease than those who have never smoked.
  4. Inhaling cigarette smoke brings cancer-causing chemicals to the lungs and blood. It is then filtered through the kidneys and settles in the urine. Because urine lives in the bladder, the bladder is repeatedly exposed to these harmful chemicals that can cause changes in the cells in the bladder lining. These changes can lead to bladder cancer.
  5. Continuous exposure to chemicals while vaping can increase the risk of developing bladder cancer. Studies show that e-cigarette users may have similar characteristics. carcinogens in their urine as smokers.
  6. Since some chemicals used in the paint industry and chemicals used in rubber, leather, textile, paint manufacturing and printing are linked to bladder cancer, they put those who work with these chemicals at higher risk. Additionally, smoking and workplace exposure can work together to cause bladder cancer. Therefore, the risk of bladder cancer is particularly high in people who both smoke and work with these chemicals.

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This resource was created with the joint support of Astellas and Seagen.

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