Bladder cancer is much more common in men than in women, says Memorial Sloan Kettering radiation oncologist Marisa Kollmeier. Smoking is the single biggest risk factor for bladder cancer. Exposure to certain dyes, chemicals, or prior radiation therapy can also increase the risk of bladder cancer.
Because toxins are regularly excreted through the bladder, the risk of getting bladder cancer persists for many years after a person stops smoking or is exposed to other cancer-causing agents. Researchers suspect that genetic differences may increase the risk of bladder cancer in some smokers.