Bladder cancer risk

Preventable cases

Bladder cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

Caused by smoking

Bladder cancer cases caused by smoking, UK, 2015

Caused by occupation

Bladder cancer cases linked to occupational exposures, UK

Caused by radiation

Bladder cancer cases linked to ionising radiation exposure, UK

The estimated lifetime risk of being diagnosed with bladder cancer is 1 in 50 (2%) for males, and 1 in 133 (less than 1%) for females born after 1960 in the UK.[1]

These figures take account of the possibility that someone can have more than one diagnosis of bladder cancer in their lifetime (‘Adjusted for Multiple Primaries’ (AMP) method).[2]

References

  1. Lifetime risk estimates calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK. Based on Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2016-based Life expectancies and population projections. Accessed December 2017, and Smittenaar CR, Petersen KA, Stewart K, Moitt N. Cancer Incidence and Mortality Projections in the UK Until 2035. Brit J Cancer 2016. 
  2. Sasieni PD, Shelton J, Ormiston-Smith N, et al. What is the lifetime risk of developing cancer?: The effect of adjusting for multiple primaries. Br J Cancer, 2011. 105(3): p. 460-5. 

About this data

Data is for UK, past and projected cancer incidence and mortality and all-cause mortality rates for those born in 1961, ICD-10 C67.

The calculations used past and projected cancer incidence and mortality and all-cause mortality rates for those born in 1961 to project risk over the lifetime of those born in 1961 (cohort method).[1] Projections are based on observed incidence and mortality rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors, diagnosis and treatment.

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49% of bladder cancer cases in the UK are preventable.[1]

Bladder cancer risk is associated with a number of risk factors[2,3].

Bladder Cancer Risk Factors

  Increases risk Decreases risk
'Sufficient' or 'Convincing' evidence
  • Aluminium production
  • 4-Aminobiphenyl
  • Arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds[a]
  • Auramine production
  • Benzidine
  • Chlornaphazine
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Magenta production
  • 2-Naphthylamine
  • Painting
  • Rubber production industry
  • Schistosoma haematobium
  • Tobacco smoking
  • ortho-Toluidine
  • X-radiation, gamma-radiation
 
'Limited' or 'probable' evidence
  • 4-Chloro-ortho-toluidine
  • Coal-tar pitch
  • Dry cleaning
  • Engine exhaust, diesel
  • Hairdressers and barbers, occupational exposure
  • 2-mercaptobenzothiazole
  • Pioglitazone
  • Printing processes
  • Soot
  • Textile manufacturing
  • Tetrachloroethylene
 

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) classifications.

a WCRF/AICR classifies evidence on arsenic in drinking water as probable

See also

Want to generate bespoke preventable cancers stats statements? Download our interactive statement generator.

Find out more about the definitions and evidence for this data

Learn how attributable risk is calculated

References

  1. Brown KF, Rumgay H, Dunlop C, et al. The fraction of cancer attributable to known risk factors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the UK overall in 2015. British Journal of Cancer 2018. 
  2. International Agency for Research on Cancer. List of Classifications by cancer sites with sufficient or limited evidence in humans, Volumes 1 to 122*. Accessed August 2018.
  3. World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Findings & Reports. Accessed October 2016.
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International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1] 45% of bladder cancer cases in the UK are caused by smoking.[2]

Bladder cancer risk is around 2-4 times higher in current smokers compared with never-smokers, meta-analyses have shown.[3-5] Bladder cancer risk increases with amount and duration of smoking, a meta-analysis and pooled analyses of case-control studies have shown.[6-8]

Bladder cancer risk is 73-80% lower in ex-smokers who quit 25 years previously, compared with ongoing smokers, pooled analyses have shown; however, ex-smokers risk remains higher than never-smokers risk.[7,8]

Higher bladder cancer risk in smokers may partly reflect mutual confounding by occupational exposures.[9]

UK portrait version shown here. Country versions, cancers caused by other risk factors, and landscape formats are available for free from our cancer risk publications.

References

  1. International Agency for Research on Cancer. List of Classifications by cancer sites with sufficient or limited evidence in humans, Volumes 1 to 122. Accessed August 2018.
  2. Brown KF, Rumgay H, Dunlop C, et al. The fraction of cancer attributable to known risk factors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the UK overall in 2015. British Journal of Cancer 2018. 
  3. Freedman ND, Silverman DT, Hollenbeck AR, et al. Association between smoking and risk of bladder cancer among men and women. JAMA. 2011 Aug 17;306(7):737-45.
  4. Cumberbatch MG, Rota M, Catto JW,et al. The Role of Tobacco Smoke in Bladder and Kidney Carcinogenesis: A Comparison of Exposures and Meta-analysis of Incidence and Mortality Risks. Eur Urol. 2016 Sep;70(3):458-66.
  5. van Osch FH, Jochems SH, van Schooten FJ, et al. Quantified relations between exposure to tobacco smoking and bladder cancer risk: a meta-analysis of 89 observational studies. Int J Epidemiol. 2016 Jun;45(3):857-70.
  6. Hemelt M, Yamamoto H, Cheng KK, Zeegers MP. The effect of smoking on the male excess of bladder cancer: a meta-analysis and geographical analyses. Int J Cancer. 2009 Jan 15;124(2):412-9.
  7. Brennan P, Bogillot O, Cordier S, et al. Cigarette smoking and bladder cancer in men: a pooled analysis of 11 case-control studies. Int J Cancer. 2000 Apr 15;86(2):289-94.
  8. Brennan P, Bogillot O, Greiser E, et al. The contribution of cigarette smoking to bladder cancer in women (pooled European data). Cancer Causes Control. 2001 Jun;12(5):411-7.
  9. 't Mannetje A, Kogevinas M, Chang-Claude J, et al. Smoking as a confounder in case-control studies of occupational bladder cancer in women. Am J Ind Med. 1999 Jul;36(1):75-82.
Last reviewed:

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1] 5-6% of bladder cancer cases in the UK are caused by workplace exposures.[2,3]

Higher bladder cancer risk in certain occupations may partly reflect mutual confounding by smoking.[4]

Aromatic amines

Aromatic amines are used in production of dyes, rubber, and textiles; they are also found in pesticides.[3]

An estimated 1% of bladder cancers in males and females in Britain are linked to aromatic amines.[3] An estimated 0.1% of bladder cancers in males and 0.3% in females in Britain are linked to working as a hairdresser/barber.[3]

Bladder cancer risk is 29% higher in rubber workers compared with the general population, a meta-analysis showed.[5]

Bladder cancer risk is 30-35% higher in hairdressers compared with the general public, meta-analyses have shown; however it remains unclear whether this is limited to hairdressers working before some carcinogenic chemicals were banned from hair dyes in the 1970s.[6,7] This is distinct from domestic personal hair dye use.

Bladder cancer risk is 27% higher in leather workers compared with the general population, a meta-analysis showed.[5]

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed during combustion of fossil and carbon-containing fuels such as wood, coal, diesel, and fat.[3]

An estimated 0.1% of bladder cancers in males and 0.04% in females in Britain are linked to PAHs.[3] An estimated 1% of bladder cancers in males and 0.2% in females in Britain are linked to diesel engine exhaust.[3]

Bladder cancer risk is not associated with working in aluminium or iron and steel production, a meta-analysis showed; however there was a suggestion of increased risk.[8]

Bladder cancer risk is 8% higher among professional drivers and railroad workers, a meta-analysis of cohort studies showed.[9] Case-control studies indicate a higher risk increase, but also that this risk increase has lessened over time.[5,9]

Bladder cancer risk is 31% higher in miners compared with the general population, a meta-analysis showed.[5]

Bladder cancer risk is 21-27% higher in mechanics compared with the general population, a meta-analysis showed.[5]

Working as a painter

An estimated 1% of bladder cancers in males and 0.1% in females in Britain are linked to working as a painter.[3]

Bladder cancer risk is 28% higher in painters compared with the general population, a meta-analysis showed.[10]

Mineral oils

Mineral oils are not specifically classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a cause of bladder cancer, however aluminium production is classified as a cause of bladder cancer,[1] and this, along with other metalworking, may involve exposure to mineral oils.[3]

An estimated 4% of bladder cancers in males and 0.7% in females in Britain are linked to mineral oils.[3]

UK portrait version shown here. Country versions, cancers caused by other risk factors, and landscape formats are available for free from our cancer risk publications.

References

  1. International Agency for Research on Cancer. List of Classifications by cancer sites with sufficient or limited evidence in humans, Volumes 1 to 122. Accessed August 2018.
  2. Brown KF, Rumgay H, Dunlop C, et al. The fraction of cancer attributable to known risk factors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the UK overall in 2015. British Journal of Cancer 2018.
  3. Brown T, Slack R, Rushton L; British Occupational Cancer Burden Study Group. Occupational cancer in Britain. Urinary tract cancers: bladder and kidney. Br J Cancer. 2012 Jun 19;107 Suppl 1:S76-84.
  4. 't Mannetje A, Kogevinas M, Chang-Claude J, et al. Smoking as a confounder in case-control studies of occupational bladder cancer in women. Am J Ind Med. 1999 Jul;36(1):75-82.
  5. Reulen RC, Kellen E, Buntinx F, et al. A meta-analysis on the association between bladder cancer and occupation. Scand J Urol Nephrol Suppl. 2008 Sep;(218):64-78.
  6. Harling M, Schablon A, Schedlbauer G, et al. Bladder cancer among hairdressers: a meta- analysis. Occup Environ Med. 2010 May;67(5):351-8.
  7. Takkouche B, Regueira-Méndez C, Montes-Martínez A. Risk of cancer among hairdressers and related workers: a meta-analysis. Int J Epidemiol. 2009 Dec;38(6):1512-31.
  8. Rota M Bosetti C, Boccia S, et al. Occupational exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and respiratory and urinary tract cancers: an updated systematic review and a meta-analysis to 2014. Arch Toxicol. 2014 Aug;88(8):1479-90.
  9. Manju L, George PS, Mathew A. Urinary bladder cancer risk among motor vehicle drivers: a meta-analysis of the evidence, 1977- 2008. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2009 Apr-Jun;10(2):287-94.
  10. Guha N, Steenland NK, Merletti F, et al. Bladder cancer risk in painters: a meta-analysis. Occup Environ Med 2010; 67(8):568-73.
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International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1] 2% of bladder cancer cases in the UK are caused by ionising radiation.[2]

Bladder cancer risk is not associated with radioactive iodine treatment for previous thyroid cancer, a meta-analysis showed.[3]

Last reviewed:

Bladder cancer risk is 1.8 times higher in people with a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, child) with the disease, compared with the general population, a cohort study showed.[1] Shared smoking habits are thought to explain much of this association; bladder cancer risk is also higher in spouses of people with the disease, and people with a family history of other smoking-related cancers.[1,2]

References

  1. Frank C, Fallah M, Ji J, et al. The population impact of familial cancer, a major cause of cancer. Int J Cancer. 2014 Apr 15;134(8):1899-906.
  2. Hemminki K, Bermejo JL, Ji J, Kumar R. Familial bladder cancer and the related genes. Curr Opin Urol. 2011 Sep;21(5):386-92.
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International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) classify the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1,2]

Bladder cancer risk is higher in people with 10μg/L or higher arsenic concentration in their drinking water, a meta-analysis showed; risk increases with higher concentrations.[3] Bladder cancer risk is only increased with high-level, long-term arsenic exposure;[4] an interaction with tobacco use is possible.[5]

References

  1. International Agency for Research on Cancer. List of Classifications by cancer sites with sufficient or limited evidence in humans, Volumes 1 to 122. Accessed August 2018.
  2. World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Findings & Reports. Accessed September 2017.
  3. Saint-Jacques N, Parker L, Brown P, Dummer TJ. Arsenic in drinking water and urinary tract cancers: a systematic review of 30 years of epidemiological evidence. Environ Health. 2014 Jun 2;13:44.
  4. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans, vol 100C. Arsenic and arsenic compounds Available from http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol100C/. Accessed April 2014.
  5. Tsuji JS, Alexander DD, Perez V, Mink PJ. Arsenic exposure and bladder cancer: quantitative assessment of studies in human populations to detect risks at low doses. Toxicology. 2014 Mar 20;317:17-30.
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