You may or may not be aware that bladder cancer, and indeed many other types of cancer, have numerous risk factors that may increase your chances of developing the disease. It’s increasingly important to be aware of cancer risk factors so that you can take the necessary precautions and make lifestyle adjustments in order to reduce your risk where possible. Cigarette smoking is the most common risk factor that most people are aware of, and it can significantly increase your risk of bladder cancer as well as numerous other cancers. In fact, a staggering 33% of all bladder cancers are said to be caused by smoking, with smokers multiplying their risk 4 times over as opposed to those who have never smoked. Many other preventable risk factors involve occupational hazards, particularly for those who work with certain chemicals on a daily basis.
The REAL Risks
It’s important to be aware of the real risks that affect you on a daily basis as opposed to an abundance of “fake news” in the mainstream media. You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that almost anything could increase your risk of cancer, but that simply isn’t the case. However, with that said, many jobs involve frequent close contact with certain chemicals, which represents a very real increased risk of bladder cancer. Rubber and plastics manufacturing often involves a group of chemicals known as Arylamines, exposure to which can increase bladder cancer risk dramatically. Although a number of these cancer-causing chemicals have been banned here in the UK, others have not and the development of bladder cancer could take up to 25 years, which is why it is important to take steps to minimise your risk from the outset. Talk to your employer about what safety precautions are in place, including protective clothing and gas masks and be sure to use these as directed.
As well as Arylamines, some employees within industries involving combustion, such as smelting, or those that regularly handle carbon or crude oil-based substances are likely to come across Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Again, this group of chemicals greatly increase your risk of developing bladder cancer later in life. Other than those jobs already mentioned, there are certain other jobs that have been linked to bladder cancer in the past, due to the chemicals they use or are exposed to, some are more common and unexpected than you might think. These include the:
Bus and Taxi Drivers
Metal Casters, Machine Setters and Operators
Raise your concerns
If you ever have any concerns over your health and the occupational risks in your workplace, don’t hesitate to go to your employer to discuss this. Anything that can be done to minimise your risk of bladder cancer is worth doing, and it’s important to ensure your workplace adheres to health and safety regulations at every possible step. As ever, be sure to investigate any potential cancer symptoms as soon as you notice them, because the key to successful treatment and long-term survival is early diagnosis!
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