Article: Bladder cancer

What is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer is a malignancy in the organ that stores urine.

Some of the common symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in the urine, pain during urination, frequent urination, or feeling the need to urinate without results. Conditions other than bladder cancer can also cause these symptoms, however.

How common is bladder cancer?

More than 44,000 men and 15,000 women are diagnosed with bladder cancer in the United States each year. In two studies of people with noninherited (somatic) mutations in FGFR3, 31 to 35 percent had bladder cancer.

What genes are related to bladder cancer?

The FGFR3, HRAS, RB1, and TP53 genes are associated with bladder cancer.

As with most cancers, the exact causes of bladder cancer are not yet known; however, many risk factors are associated with this disease. Chief among them are smoking and industrial chemicals plus somatic changes in the FGFR3 gene. Changes in other genes such as RB1, HRAS, and TP53 may also increase the risk of developing this cancer but are of much lesser importance than FGFR3. Changes in these and similar genes may also help explain why some bladder cancers grow and invade more rapidly than others.

A family history of bladder cancer is also a risk factor for the disease, although most genetic changes that are associated with bladder cancer develop in bladder tissue during a person's lifetime, rather than being inherited before birth. Some people, however, seem to inherit a reduced ability to break down certain chemicals, which makes them more sensitive to the cancer-causing effects of tobacco smoke and certain industrial chemicals.

How do people inherit bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer is generally not inherited but arises from somatic mutations in bladder cells.

Source: Genetics Home Reference
Cache Date: April 13, 2005