Bladder Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 12/2016

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year. You will 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 79,030 adults (60,490 men and 18,540 women) will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in the United States. 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 16,870 deaths (12,240 men and 4,630 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 78%. The 5-year survival rate is 79% and 74% for white men and women respectively. For black men, the 5-year survival rate is 69%. For black women, the rate is 54%.

 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. 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%.

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 questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts and Figures 2017, and the ACS website.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of the bladder, including its layers of tissue. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.