Bladder Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2021

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 83,730 adults (64,280 men and 19,450 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with bladder cancer. Smoking accounts for 47% of all these cases (see Risk Factors).

After years of increasing, the number of bladder cancer cases steadily declined by about 1% per year from 2008 to 2017. 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. 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 17,200 deaths (12,260 men and 4,940 women) from this disease will occur this year. Among men, bladder cancer is the eighth most common cause of cancer death. Although the incidence rate for bladder cancer in men has been decreasing, the death rate has not significantly changed. In women, both the incidence rate and the death rate has been decreasing slightly.

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%.

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%. More than 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 69%. Approximately 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 survival rate is 37%. If the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 6%. About 4% of people are diagnosed with 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. 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 2021 and the ACS website (sources accessed January 2021).

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