Bladder Cancer Overview

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Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

Survival rates for bladder cancer

Some people with cancer may want to know the survival rates for their type of cancer. 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 found. Of course, many people live much longer than 5 years. 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 better way to see the impact that cancer can have on survival.

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 come from the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database. They are based on thousands of patients diagnosed with bladder cancer from 1988 to 2001.


    Relative 5-year
    Survival Rate












These numbers provide an overall picture, but keep in mind that every person’s situation is unique and the statistics can’t predict exactly what will happen in your case. Talk with your doctors if you have questions about your personal chances of a cure, or how long you might survive your cancer. They know your situation best.

Last Medical Review: 12/03/2012
Last Revised: 04/17/2014