Bladder cancer and genetics

Like most cancers, the cause of bladder cancer is not known. Several environmental factors play a role in increasing the risks. Smoking and exposure to certain chemicals raise risks. Research suggest that chronic bladder inflammation caused by the parasitic infection known as schistosomiasis, and certain medications used to treat other cancers are along with the environmental risk factors  are all associated with bladder cancer. There are also some genetics factors that contribute to the risk of developing bladder cancer.

Genetic Risks

Genetic factors may also play an important role in the development of bladder cancer. Researchers have examined the change associated with mutations on certain genes concerning tumor growth and development. Each of the genes tested played an important role in the regulation of dividing cells and by stopping them from separating too fast or going awry. Variations in these genes may one day help make it clear why some bladder cancers develop and spread faster than others.

Chromosome 9 plays a part in bladder cancer. The deletion of this chromosome commonly occurs in bladder cancer. This leads strengthens researchers’ beliefs that many of the genes that control cell growth are located on Chromosome 9. Further research of these genes is needed to determine if a loss of this gene plays a role in the development and growth of bladder cancer.

The majority of genetic changes associated with bladder cancer develop in a person’s bladder during their lifetime, instead of being inherited from a relative. However, some people seem to inherit a reduction in the ability to break down certain chemicals. This also makes them more sensitive to the environmental factors such as cigarette smoke or chemicals.

Is Bladder Cancer Inherited?

The answer is no. Bladder cancer is not usually inherited. In most cases, the tumors result from the genetic mutations that occur during a person’s lifetime. These are called somatic genes, or genes that are not inherited. Research as this time does not support any evidence that bladder cancer is inherited. Having a parent with bladder cancer does mean you will develop the disease, but it may mean you are more susceptible.

Prevention Tips

The best way to prevent bladder cancer is to live a healthy life style and eat a diet rich in lean meats and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Diet plays a big role in the body’s ability to ward off disease and fight illnesses. If you are a smoker, stop smoking. There are programs available to help people stop smoking and improve their health. If you work in a place where you come in contact with chemicals know to be carcinogens, follow all safety precautions and limit exposure as much as possible. Have your water tested for arsenic. If you find arsenic in your water supply, you can drink bottled water or invest in water filtration system for your home. Drink plenty of liquids, especially water and do not hold urine for long periods of time. Drinking adequate amounts water helps the body flush toxins and chemicals from the body.

Early Detection

Early detection is the best chance of a cure for bladder cancer. Over 90 percent of bladder cancers caught early are curable. Know the symptoms of bladder cancer and if you feel you are suffering with the symptoms, contact your doctor right away. Following a healthy diet and avoiding risk factors are also a good way to reduce your risks. While there may be some genetic aspects to development of bladder cancer, it is not likely that it is inherited. Further research is needed to determine exactly how genes affect the development of cancer cells.


Cornell University: Bladder Cancer Causes

Genetics Home Reference: Bladder Cancer

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