What increases my risk for urinary system cancers?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

There are a variety of risk factors that can increase the likelihood that you will develop urinary system cancer. Some have to do with lifestyle choices and overall health. For example, smoking tobacco increases the risk of most types of urinary system cancers, especially bladder cancer. If you smoke, you are twice as likely to get bladder cancer than if you do not smoke. Having high blood pressure increases your risk of kidney cancer. Also, if you are overweight, your risk of getting kidney cancer increases. If your job requires you to come into contact with certain types of toxic chemicals, your risk of urinary system cancer increases. Other risk factors have to do with race, gender, and genetic heritage. Research has shown that white people are more likely to develop bladder cancer than black people, for example; however, black people are slightly more likely than white people to develop kidney cancer. Most types of urinary system cancers are much more common in men than in women. Also, genetic disorders that are inherited from one or both parents can increase the risk of urinary system cancers. Age also plays a role; your risk of developing some types of urinary system cancers, especially bladder cancer, increases as you grow older, particularly after age 65.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.