Bladder Cancer

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Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

Survival rates for bladder cancer by stage

Survival rates are often used by doctors as a standard way of discussing a person’s prognosis (outlook). Some people with cancer may want to know the survival statistics for people in similar situations, while others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. If you would rather not read the survival rates for bladder cancer, skip to the next section.

The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is diagnosed. Of course, many people live much longer than 5 years (and many are cured).

Five-year relative survival rates assume that some people will die of other causes and compare the observed survival with that expected for people without the cancer. This is a more accurate way to describe the chances of dying from a particular type and stage of cancer.

In order to get 5-year survival rates, doctors have to look at people who were treated at least 5 years ago. Improvements in treatment since then may result in a better outlook for people now being diagnosed with bladder cancer.

The numbers below are based on thousands of people diagnosed with bladder cancer from 1988 to 2001. These numbers come from the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database.


    Relative 5-year
    Survival Rate











Survival rates are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had the disease, but they can’t predict what will happen. Knowing the type and the stage of a person’s cancer is important in estimating their outlook. But many other factors can also affect a person’s outlook, such as other health problems, the grade of the cancer, and how well the cancer responds to treatment. Your doctor can tell you how the numbers above apply to you.

Last Medical Review: 02/26/2014
Last Revised: 02/25/2015