Bladder Cancer

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What Is Bladder Cancer? TOPICS

What are the key statistics about bladder cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for bladder cancer in the United States for 2014 are:

  • About 74,690 new cases of bladder cancer diagnosed (about 56,390 in men and 18,300 in women).
  • About 15,580 deaths from bladder cancer (about 11,170 in men and 4,410 in women).

The rates of new cancers and of cancer deaths have been fairly stable in men and have been dropping slightly in women in recent years. More than 500,000 people in the United States are bladder cancer survivors.

Bladder cancer occurs mainly in older people. About 9 out of 10 people with this cancer are over the age of 55. The average age at the time of diagnosis is 73.

Men are about 3 to 4 times more likely to get bladder cancer during their lifetime than women. Overall, the chance men will develop this cancer during their life is about 1 in 26. For women, the chance is about 1 in 90. (See the next section for risk factors that can affect these chances.) Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men.

Whites are diagnosed with bladder cancer almost twice as often as blacks.

In about half of all cases, patients are first diagnosed with bladder cancer while it is still confined to the inner layer of the bladder (non-invasive or in situ cancer). About 35% have bladder cancer that has invaded into deeper layers but is still contained in the bladder. In most of the remaining cases, the cancer has spread to nearby tissues outside the bladder. Rarely (in about 4% of cases), it has spread to distant sites. Black patients are slightly more likely to have more advanced disease when they are diagnosed, compared to whites.

Survival rates for bladder cancer are discussed in the section “Survival rates for bladder cancer by stage.”


Last Medical Review: 02/26/2014
Last Revised: 02/26/2014