"Moon River" singer Andy Williams has died at 84 from bladder cancer, according to news reports.
USA Today reported that Williams had been battling bladder cancer for a year, and his family requests that people wishing to send flowers instead make donations to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.
Bladder cancer risk rises as people age, and is also more common among men and white people, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In most cases of bladder cancer, the cancer arises in the cells that make up the bladder's inner lining (called transitional cell carcinomas), though other kinds of bladder cancer include cancer in the thin, flat cells of the bladder (called squamous cell carcinoma) and cancer in the fluid- and mucus-releasing cells in the bladder (called adenocarcinoma), according to the National Cancer Institute.
Symptoms of bladder cancer include problems with urinating -- blood in the urine, pain while urinating, and having to urinate more than usual -- as well as pain in the back and pelvic area, according to the Mayo Clinic.
While the exact cause of all bladder cancers is unknown, there are some significant risk factors for the disease. Smoking is a big one -- it's responsible for as many as half of all bladder cancer cases in men, according to the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.
Other known risk factors include being exposed to certain carcinogenic chemicals at work (people who work in rubber, dye, aluminum and truck-driving fields may have a higher risk than others), having taken the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide, having had radiation treatments for cervical cancer in the past, and bladder infection in some cases, the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia reported.
Like many other cancers, bladder cancer is deadlier if it is in a higher stage and has spread to other parts of the body (the severity of the cancer is defined by stages). For example, stage 0 bladder cancer has a 98 percent survival rate over five years, but stage 3 bladder cancer has a 46 percent five-year survival rate and stage 4 bladder cancer has a 15 percent five-year survival rate, according to the American Cancer Society.
This year, there are expected to be 14,880 deaths from bladder cancer, and 73,510 new cases of the disease, the National Cancer Institute reported.
New York writer and journalist <a href="http://observer.com/2009/08/dominick-dunne-dies-of-bladder-cancer-onetime-hollywood-striver-reinvented-himself-as-highsociety-truecrime-chronicler/">Dominick Dunne</a> died in 2009 after battling bladder cancer, the <em>New York Observer</em> reported. CNN reported that before he died, Dunne had <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/08/26/dominick.dunne.obit/index.html">underwent stem cell treatments</a> in Germany to for his cancer.
Hansen, who is married to Keith Richards, guitarist in the Rolling Stones, <a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/entertainment/2012345120_apuspeoplepattihansen.html">survived bladder cancer</a> after being diagnosed with the disease in 2007, the Associated Press reported. Upon <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20429076,00.html">first being diagnosed</a>, Hansen told <em>People</em>: "I was like, 'What am I going to do?' You're just in this fog." The AP said that Hansen <a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/entertainment/2012345120_apuspeoplepattihansen.html">underwent surgery to remove her bladder</a>, appendix and uterus, and then had a new bladder made from her intestines.
The <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/us/politics/20christopher.html">former secretary of state </a>under President Clinton's first term died at age 85 last year from kidney and bladder cancers, the <em>New York Times</em> reported. Among other notable roles in government, Christopher is known for being the negotiator in the <a href="http://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/short-history/iraniancrises">Iranian Hostage Crisis</a> in 1979 as well as the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/us/politics/20christopher.html">Florida recount</a> during the 2000 presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore, according to the <em>Times</em>.
Actor <a href="http://www.masterworksbroadway.com/artist/ray-bolger">Ray Bolger</a>, who is perhaps best remembered for playing the scarecrow in the film "The Wizard of Oz," died of bladder cancer at age 83, Masterworks Broadway reported.
The legendary singer <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20125409,00.html">died of a heart attack</a> at age 82 in 1998, but he had been <a href="http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/9802/11/sinatra/index.html">fighting bladder cancer</a> before his death, <em>People</em> magazine reported.
Former vice president <a href="http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2011/05/final-chapter-hubert-humphrey-returns-public-life">Hubert Humphrey</a> passed away in 1978 at age 66 after battling bladder cancer. The publication reported that the cancer was originally found when he was undergoing a surgery to treat a urinary disorder in 1967. However, the cancer later spread and he eventually had to have his <a href="http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2011/05/final-chapter-hubert-humphrey-returns-public-life">bladder removed</a>.
In 2010, <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20021319-10391704.html">NBA player Maurice Lucas</a>, known as "The Enforcer," passed away from bladder cancer at age 58. "We have lost a champion of a man," Nate McMillan, who was coach of the Portland Trailblazers at the time of Lucas's death, told CBS News. "Maurice was a great man and a great friend. He battled his illness like the warrior he was on the basketball court."
Learn About Bladder Cancer
Sasha Wainstein, MD FACS Urology teaches us what is bladder cancer and how to treat it.