Bladder Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Lineagotica Editorial Board, 10/2017

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.

This year, an estimated 81,190 adults (62,380 men and 18,810 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with bladder cancer. Among men, bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer. Men are 4 times more likely than women to be diagnosed with the disease. In addition, incidence rates in white men are double those of black men.

Bladder cancer mostly affects older people. Ninety percent (90%) of people with bladder cancer are older than 55, and the average age people are diagnosed with bladder cancer is 73. 

It is estimated that 17,240 deaths (12,520 men and 4,720 women) from this disease will occur this year. Among men, bladder cancer is eighth most common cause of cancer death.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The general 5-year survival rate for people with bladder cancer is 77%. The overall 10-year survival rate is 70% and the overall 15-year survival rate is 65%.

However, survival rates depend on many factors, including the type and stage of bladder cancer that is diagnosed. The 5-year survival rate of people with bladder cancer that has not spread beyond the inner layer of the bladder wall is 96%. About half of people are diagnosed with this stage.

If the tumor is invasive but has not yet spread outside the bladder, the 5-year survival rate is 70%. If the cancer extends through the bladder to the surrounding tissue or has spread to nearby lymph nodes or organs, the 5-year survival rate is 35%. If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 5%. About 4% of people are diagnosed at this stage.

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with bladder cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. People should talk with their doctor if they have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts and Figures 2017: Special Section – Rare Cancers in Adults, and the ACS website (January 2018).

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of the bladder, including its layers of tissue. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.