Bladder cancer and urine

Bladder cancer and urine

Bladder cancer is a very common disease that begins in the cells of the bladder. The bladder is the organ in charge of urine storage. It is an empty and flexible muscle1. In men it is located in front of the rectum, while in women it is located before the vagina. When urine accumulates, it adopts a spherical shape and ascends into the abdominal cavity. The capacity ranges between 700 and 800 mL2.

Ideally, bladder cancers are diagnosed early, when the cancer is highly treatable. For this reason, people with bladder cancer often need follow-up testing in the years following treatment to detect a possible recurrence. Having blood in the urine, or frequent and painful urination are symptoms of bladder cancer2.

The most common risk factors, which are conducive to the occurrence of this type of cancer are:


Smoking is the most important risk factor for bladder cancer. Smokers are at least three times more likely to develop bladder cancer than non-smokers. Smoking causes about half of all bladder cancers in both men and women3.

Workplace exposure

Certain industrial chemicals and certain organic chemicals are linked to bladder cancer.  Industries at greatest risk include rubber, leather, textile, and paint manufacturers.

People who combine smoking with workplace exposure in the industry are at especially high risk for bladder cancer3.

Certain drugs or herbal supplements

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the use of certain medications such as pioglitazone (Actos®), which acts against diabetes, increases the risk of bladder cancer.

In the case of dietary supplements containing mainly herbs of the Aristolochia family, they are also associated with an increased risk of urothelial cancers, including bladder cancer3.

Arsenic in drinking water

The presence of arsenic in drinking water is also a risk factor, which is derived from where you live and where you get your water from3.

Not drinking enough fluids

People who drink plenty of fluids, especially water, every day tend to have lower rates of bladder cancer, as they somewhat prevent chemicals from staying in their bladders for long periods of time3.





  2. Tortora GJ, Bryan D. Principios de anatomía y fisiología, 13va Edición. 13th ed. Editorial Medica Panamericana Sa, editor. México D.F.: Editorial Medica Panamericana Sa; 2013. 1067–1099 p.

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