Bladder cancer statistics and outlook
This page is about statistics and what they can tell us about the outlook for people with bladder cancer. There is information about
This page has quite detailed information about the survival rates for different stages of bladder cancer. People ask us for this information but not everyone diagnosed with cancer wants to read it. If you are not sure whether you want to know at the moment, you can always come back to it later.
The statistics here are intended as a general guide and can't tell you what is likely to happen in your individual case.
Bladder cancer statistics and outlook
Outlook means what is likely to happen in the future. Your doctor may call this your prognosis. With bladder cancer, the likely outcome depends on whether the cancer is just in the bladder lining or whether it has spread into the muscle wall of the bladder or beyond. The grade can also be important. The grade means how abnormal the cells look under the microscope.
We have quite detailed information below about the likely outcome of different stages of bladder cancer. The statistics we use are taken from a variety of sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check every section of this website. They are intended as a general guide only. For the more complete picture in your case, you’d have to speak to your own specialist.
We include statistics because people ask for them, but not everyone wants to read this type of information. If you don't want to read about the outlook for bladder cancer you can go back to the treating bladder cancer page.
How reliable are cancer statistics?
No statistics can tell you exactly what will happen to you. Your cancer is unique. The same type of cancer can grow at different rates in different people. The statistics cannot tell you about the different treatments people may have had, or how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will affect your treatment and your outlook.
There is a section explaining more about cancer statistics and also about incidence, mortality and survival. Unless you are very familiar with medical statistics, it might help to read this before you read the statistics below.
Remember that 5 year survival and 10 year survival are terms that doctors use. This doesn't mean you will only live 5 or 10 years. 10 year survival relates to the number of people in research who were still alive 10 years after diagnosis. Doctors follow what happens to people for 5 years or more after treatment in bladder cancer research studies. So they use the term 5 year survival.
Please note that there are no national UK statistics available for different stages of cancer or treatments that people may have had. Some of the statistics we present here are from one area of England. And some of the statistics are from European. They are pulled together from a variety of different sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check each section of this website. We provide statistics because people ask us for them. But they are only intended as a general guide and cannot be used to predict what will happen in your individual case.
The overall survival statistics below are for people diagnosed with bladder cancer in England and Wales.
Of all those diagnosed with bladder cancer, more than 70 out of every 100 (70%) will survive for one year or more after diagnosis. More than 50 out of every 100 (50%) will survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. And around 50 out of every 100 (50%) will survive for 10 years after diagnosis.
As with many other types of cancer, the outcome of bladder cancer depends on whether the cancer is just in the bladder lining or whether it has spread into the muscle wall of the bladder or beyond. Whether the cancer is just in the bladder lining or has spread is called the stage of the cancer. We have information below about the outlook for the different stages of bladder cancer.
The grade of the cancer can also be important. Generally speaking, doctors divide bladder cancer grade into 3 groups, depending on what the cells look like under the microscope. The groups are low grade, medium (moderate) grade and high grade. High grade cancer cells look the most abnormal and are most likely to grow quickly and spread. There is information about bladder cancer grade in this section.
Survival statistics are available for each stage of bladder cancer in one area of England. These figures are for men and women diagnosed between 2002 and 2006.
For stage 1 bladder cancer, around 90 out of 100 men (90%) and almost 90 out of 100 women (90%) survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.
For stage 2 bladder cancer, almost 50 out of 100 men (50%) and almost 33 out of 100 women (33%) will survive for 5 years or more after diagnosis.
For stage 3 bladder cancer, almost 33 out of 100 men (33%) and more than 15 out of 100 women (15%) will survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.
For stage 4 bladder cancer, around 10 out of 100 men and women (10%) will survive for 5 years or more after diagnosis.
You can read more about the number stages of bladder cancer on our page about staging invasive bladder cancer.
Most bladder cancers are diagnosed while they are still only in the bladder lining. These are also called early bladder cancers. Around 75 out of 100 (75%) of bladder cancers are this early type. These early bladder cancers can often be cured or controlled with minor surgery or treatment into the bladder.
The outlook for these cancers depends on several factors including
- Exactly how far the cancer cells have gone into the bladder lining
- The number of tumours
- The diameter of the tumours
- How abnormal the cancer cells look under the microscope (the grade)
- Whether CIS (high grade changes in the bladder lining) is present
- Whether this a recurrence, and how often the tumour has recurred
Your doctor looks at all these factors. They use them to decide whether there is a low, medium (intermediate) or high risk of the cancer coming back or spreading into the muscle of the bladder. Your doctor will be able to tell you about your risk group and how this affects your outcome.
No statistics can tell you what will happen to you. Your cancer is unique. So statistics can only give a rough idea of what may happen to you. The available statistics are not detailed enough to tell you about the different treatments people may have had and how that treatment may have affected their outlook. Some treatments may help people to live longer as well as relieving symptoms. There are many individual factors that will affect your treatment and prognosis.
If you would like to read more about survival rates and other statistics for bladder cancer, go to our CancerStats page:
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