Bladder Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 03/2023

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the estimated number of people who will be diagnosed with bladder cancer each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors, and no 2 people with cancer are the same. Use the menu to see other pages.

Every person is different, with different factors influencing their risk of being diagnosed with this cancer and the chance of recovery after a diagnosis. It is important to talk with your doctor about any questions you have around the general statistics provided below and what they may mean for you individually. The original sources for these statistics are provided at the bottom of this page.

How many people are diagnosed with bladder cancer?

In 2023, an estimated 82,290 adults (62,420 men and 19,870 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with bladder cancer. Smoking accounts for nearly 50% of all these cases (see Risk Factors). Worldwide, an estimated 573,278 people were diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2020.

After years of increasing, the number of bladder cancer cases in the United States steadily declined by less than 1% per year from 2004 to 2015 and an estimated 2% per year from 2015 to 2019. 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, Hispanic, or Asian/Pacific Islander men.

Bladder cancer mostly affects older people. About 90% of people with bladder cancer are older than 55. The average age people are diagnosed with bladder cancer is 73.

It is estimated that 16,710 deaths (12,160 men and 4,550 women) from this disease will occur in the United States in 2023. In 2020, an estimated 212,536 people worldwide died from bladder cancer. Among men in the United States, bladder cancer is the eighth most common cause of cancer death. However, the death rate for bladder cancer decreased by over 2% annually from 2016 to 2020.

What is the survival rate for bladder cancer?

There are different types of statistics that can help doctors evaluate a person’s chance of recovery from bladder cancer. These are called survival statistics. A specific type of survival statistic is called the relative survival rate. It is often used to predict how having cancer may affect life expectancy. Relative survival rate looks at how likely people with bladder cancer are to survive for a certain amount of time after their initial diagnosis or start of treatment compared to the expected survival of similar people without this cancer.

Example: Here is an example to help explain what a relative survival rate means. Please note this is only an example and not specific to this type of cancer. Let’s assume that the 5-year relative survival rate for a specific type of cancer is 90%. “Percent” means how many out of 100. Imagine there are 1,000 people without cancer, and based on their age and other characteristics, you expect 900 of the 1,000 to be alive in 5 years. Also imagine there are another 1,000 people similar in age and other characteristics as the first 1,000, but they all have the specific type of cancer that has a 5-year survival rate of 90%. This means it is expected that 810 of the people with the specific cancer (90% of 900) will be alive in 5 years.

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with bladder cancer are only an estimate. They cannot tell an individual person if cancer will or will not shorten their life. Instead, these statistics describe trends in groups of people previously diagnosed with the same disease, including specific stages of the disease.

The 5-year relative survival rate for bladder cancer in the United States is 77%.

The survival rates for bladder cancer vary based on several factors. These include the stage of cancer, a person’s age and general health, and how well the treatment plan works. Another factor that can affect outcomes is the type of bladder cancer that is diagnosed (see Introduction).

The 5-year relative survival rate of people with bladder cancer that has not spread beyond the inner layer of the bladder wall is 96%. Almost half of people are diagnosed with this stage.

If the tumor is invasive but has not yet spread outside the bladder, the 5-year relative survival rate is 70%. About 33% of bladders cancers are diagnosed at this stage. If the cancer extends through the bladder to the surrounding tissue or has spread to nearby lymph nodes or organs, the 5-year relative survival rate is 39%. If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year relative survival rate is 8%. About 5% of people are diagnosed with this stage.

Experts measure relative survival rate statistics for bladder cancer every 5 years. This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how bladder cancer is diagnosed or treated from the last 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2023; the ACS website; and the International Agency for Research on Cancer website. (All sources accessed February 2023.)

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.