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A risk factor is something that increases your chances of developing cancer. Some risk factors cannot be changed, such as family history or genetics. Fortunately, many risk factors can be modified.

Quit Smoking

Smoking tobacco introduces a variety of harmful chemicals into your body. The chemicals are processed through the body and many are eventually passed in the urine. Since the bladder holds urine before it passes from the body, the lining of the bladder is regularly exposed to the harmful chemicals.

Quitting smoking is an important step in preventing bladder and other cancers. The sooner smoking is stopped, the sooner the body can start to heal. Talk to your doctor about the options available to help you successfully quit.

Managing Occupational Exposures

Chemical exposure can occur in many different jobs. If possible, try to find work in a different environment. If it is unavoidable, take steps to protect yourself from exposure. Check with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or the Environmental Protection Agency about any available protective guidelines.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration decreases the amount of water in the urine. This also means if there are dangerous chemicals in the urine, they will be more concentrated. Drinking water and eating foods with high water content throughout the day dilutes the urine and the concentration of any harmful substances in the urine.

Eat a Healthful Diet

Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables has been associated with lower risks of cancer. Good nutrition supports your body's immune system and can help maintain a healthy weight.


Bladder cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: Accessed June 29, 2015.

Bladder cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated May 14, 2015. Accessed June 29, 2015.

Last reviewed May 2015 by Mohei Abouzied, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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