How common is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer is more common than many people realize. It has been estimated that approximately 82,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed every year. Approximately three-quarters of these cases are in men, with the remaining twenty-five percent of cases being diagnosed in women.

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men.

Concerned African American man wondering how common bladder cancer is.

Survival Statistics

Fortunately, there are treatment options available for someone who has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, and these treatment options can improve your prognosis.

The five-year survival rate for bladder cancer is approximately 77 percent. That means that out of everyone who has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, 77 percent of them will still be alive five years after their diagnosis.

Keep in mind that there are different factors that will influence your survival rate. For example, some types of bladder cancer are more aggressive than others, and some types of bladder cancer are diagnosed at an earlier stage than others. This is another reason why you should visit the doctor regularly. The earlier bladder cancer can be detected, the sooner the treatment process can begin. This can have a significant impact on your overall survival rate.

Just as there is no single treatment that is best for all types of bladder cancer, no one statistic will define this condition either. That is why it is important to have a comprehensive treatment plan in place.

Risk Factors: Who Gets Bladder Cancer?

There are a variety of risk factors that may make it more likely for someone to be diagnosed with bladder cancer.

What is the most common age for bladder cancer?

Even though bladder cancer can occur at any age, bladder cancer is more common in people who are over the age of 55. The average age at which someone is diagnosed with bladder cancer is 73.

What is the #1 risk factor for bladder cancer?

Without a doubt, the biggest risk factor for someone developing bladder cancer is smoking. Smoking can dramatically increase someone’s risk of being diagnosed with bladder cancer. If you smoke cigarettes, cigars or vape, your body needs to process harmful chemicals and remove them from the body. Some of these chemicals are excreted in your urine, which can damage your bladder in the process. As your bladder is damaged during this chemical processing, you could develop cancer.

At the same time, there are other risk factors that could make it more likely for someone to develop bladder cancer. Some of the other risk factors include:

  • Gender: Men are more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer than women, as the statistics above indicate.
  • Chemical Exposure: If you are exposed to other chemicals at work or in your environment, you may be at a greater risk of being diagnosed with bladder cancer. A few examples of chemical exposure that could make it more likely for someone to be diagnosed with bladder cancer include rubber, certain dyes, arsenic, textiles, leather, and paint products.
  • Chronic Conditions: If you have been diagnosed with chronic bladder inflammation, you may be at a greater risk of developing bladder cancer. Chronic cystitis is one of the most common examples.
  • Family History: If someone in your immediate family has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, you may be more likely to develop this condition as well.

It is important for everyone to see a doctor regularly to ensure they are aware of their cancer risk.

Get Support

Even though bladder cancer is common, it can feel lonely during the bladder cancer journey.  Our Survivor to Survivor program connects newly diagnosed bladder cancer patients and caregivers with survivors and co-survivors who have gone through similar experiences. Learn more about our Survivor to Survivor program and get matched to a trained volunteer who offers a sympathetic ear and shares their own experiences as well as insight about their own bladder cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

You can also call our Bladder Cancer Call Center at 833-ASK-4_BCA (833-275-4222) to speak with an oncology social worker.