People can get bladder cancer when they come into contact with tobacco or other cancer-causing agents. There also are some risks related to genes and certain types of infections. Another known risk factor is a type of radiation beam aimed at the pelvis. Patients with other cancers, such as lymphomas and leukemia, who receive treatment with the drug cyclophosphamide, may be at a higher risk for bladder cancer.
Smoking is a Big Risk Factor
You are more likely to get bladder cancer if you smoke or breathe in tobacco smoke. Smoking tobacco may be the cause of half of all bladder tumors. If you smoke, you are more likely to get bladder cancer than those who have stopped smoking.
Workplace Exposure is another Known Cause
Some things in the workplace may put you at a greater risk for bladder cancer. Contact with chemicals used to make plastics, paints, textiles, leather and rubber may cause bladder cancer.