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Preventing Bladder Cancer


About 79,000 cases of bladder cancer will be reported this year in the US, according to the American Cancer Society. However, the disease is very treatable in the early stages, making cancer screenings very important for your health.

At Dignity Health, our primary care doctors and oncologists work together to provide expert support and treatment for the prevention of bladder cancer in the Bay Area. If you’d like to learn more about prevention, Find a Doctor near you.

Bladder Cancer Risk Factors

Researchers have determined there are certain risk factors that can increase your risk of bladder cancer. These include: 

  • Smoking — this is biggest risk factor for bladder cancer
  • Caucasian race — whites are twice as likely to develop it as other races
  • Age — 90 percent of bladder cancers occur in people 55 years or older
  • Family history of bladder cancer
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Male gender — men are three to four times more likely to develop it
  • Genetics, including certain gene mutations and genetic conditions
  • Exposure to chemicals in dyes, paints, rubber, and plastics
  • Frequent or chronic urinary tract infections
  • Prior pelvic radiation therapy or chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)

How to Reduce Your Risk Factors

While there is no definite way to prevent bladder cancer, regular checkups and screenings can help your doctor detect any abnormalities early, before you notice symptoms

You can also take proactive steps to lower your bladder cancer risk factors by following these guidelines: 

  • Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit.
  • Eat a healthy diet containing fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Drink plenty of water to wash out your bladder.
  • Limit your exposure to workplace chemicals. 

Talk with your Dignity Health doctor if you have any changes in bladder function or urination. 

Dignity Health hospitals in the Bay Area offer complete care, including all recommended screenings for men and women, for bladder cancer prevention in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.