Smoking is the most important risk factor for bladder cancer. Smokers are at least 3 times as likely to get bladder cancer as non-smokers. Smoking causes about half of all bladder cancers in both men and women.

Bladder cancer risk increases as you age. Bladder cancer can occur at any age, but it's rarely found in people younger than 40.

Caucasian people have a greater risk of bladder cancer than do people of other races.

Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women are.

Treatment with the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide increases the risk of bladder cancer. People who received radiation treatments aimed at the pelvis for a previous cancer have an elevated risk of developing bladder cancer.

Chronic or repeated urinary infections or inflammations (cystitis), such as might happen with long-term use of a urinary catheter, may increase the risk of a squamous cell bladder cancer. In some areas of the world, squamous cell carcinoma is linked to chronic bladder inflammation caused by the parasitic infection known as schistosomiasis.

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