The causes of bladder cancer vary greatly, from acquired or inherited gene mutations to lifestyle choices such as tobacco smoking. However, it has recently been discovered that asbestos exposure also represents a risk factor for bladder cancer and many other urinary problems as well. Because asbestos fibers – being microscopic and often needle-like – can travel through the body, they can easily reach the urinary system as well, where they might get stuck and gradually lead to inflammation and tissue scarring. These symptoms could, over time, give way to a malignant tumor inside or outside the bladder.
It is worthy of note that people who already suffer from a disease caused by asbestos exposure, such as pulmonary issues, lung cancer or mesothelioma, are at higher risk of developing bladder cancer, as well as other secondary asbestos-related illnesses, as asbestos fibers are more likely to reach the bladder. There are three main types of bladder cancer: adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and urothelial carninoma. It is vital to closely monitor your health if you have a history of occupational asbestos exposure or a related diagnosis.
Common bladder cancer symptoms and urinary problems after asbestos exposure
These are the main symptoms of bladder cancer, which can lead to early diagnosis and treatment:
- blood in your urine
- feeling the need to urinate more frequently
- a burning sensation while urinating
- inability to urinate
- urinating a very small amount
- changes in the color of your urine
- pelvic pain
- a foul smell
- pressure in the lower back
- swollen feet
- bone pain
- loss of appetite
Moreover, if you were exposed to other chemicals in the workplace for a long period of time, your chances of developing bladder cancer also increase. Therefore, a combination of asbestos exposure or the existence of asbestos fibers in the body and the inhalation or ingestion of other toxic substances is substantially more dangerous as it increases your chances to develop bladder cancer sooner.