Bladder cancer incidence statistics
Incidence statistics for bladder cancer by country in the UK, age and trends over time are presented here. There are also data on lifetime risk, geographic variation, socio-economic variation, ethnicity, and prevalence. The ICD code for bladder cancer is ICD-10 C67.
The latest incidence statistics available for bladder cancer in the UK are 2010. Find out why these are the latest statistics available.
Bladder cancer is the seventh most common cancer in the UK (2010), accounting for 3% of all new cases. In males, it is the fourth most common cancer (5% of male total), whilst it is the 11th most common cancer in females (2% of female total).1-4
In 2010, there were 10,324 new cases of bladder cancer in the UK (Table 1.1): 7,416 (72%) in men and 2,908 (28%) in women, giving a male:female ratio of almost 26:10.1-4 The crude incidence rate shows that there are 24 new bladder cancer cases for every 100,000 males in the UK, and 9 for every 100,000 females.
The European age-standardised incidence rate (AS rate) is significantly lower in Scotland than in England for males (Table 1.1).1-4 Rates for females are similar across all the constituent countries of the UK.
Table 1.1: Bladder Cancer (C67), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2010
|AS Rate - 95% LCL||17.7||16.9||14.6||13.5||17.6|
|AS Rate - 95% UCL||18.6||20.5||17.3||18.6||18.4|
|AS Rate - 95% LCL||5.3||4.9||4.4||3.5||5.3|
|AS Rate - 95% UCL||5.7||6.7||5.7||5.8||5.7|
|AS Rate - 95% LCL||10.9||10.6||9.1||8.5||10.8|
|AS Rate - 95% UCL||11.4||12.4||10.4||11.1||11.2|
The Cancer Atlas for the UK and Ireland 1991-2000, which analysed rates at local authority and health board level, showed that there was wide variability in bladder cancer incidence rates among the countries of the UK and Ireland. Scotland and Wales had incidence rates higher than the UK and Ireland average, whilst Northern Ireland and Ireland had rates that were lower (for both sexes). Within England, the highest rates occurred in Trent and the West Midlands, whilst the lowest rates were in Eastern England. However, some of these differences are attributable to differences in the registration and classification of bladder tumours by cancer registries.5 The latest analysis of bladder cancer incidence rates throughout the UK reports modest variation between cancer networks, with the highest rates being in Wales and parts of the north (Lancashire and South Cumbria, and Humber and Yorkshire Coast), south west (Dorset) and south east (Kent and Medway) of England, and the lowest rates being in the north of Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of London.6,7
section reviewed 17/09/13
section updated 17/09/13
Bladder cancer incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older men and women. In the UK between 2008 and 2010, an average of 81% of cases were diagnosed in men and women aged 65 and over, and 95% were diagnosed in the 55s and over (Figure 1.1).1-4
Age-specific incidence rates rise gradually from around age 50-54 in both males and females. However, from age 60-64, male incidence rates rise more sharply than female incidence rates. For both sexes, incidence rates reach their highest level in the 85+ age group. Incidence rates are higher for males than for females in those aged 40 and over and this gap is widest between the ages of 65 and 74, when the male:female incidence ratio of age-specific rates (to account for the different proportions of males to females in each age group) is around 37:10 (Figure 1.1).1-4
Figure 1.1: Bladder Cancer (C67), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates, UK, 2008-2010
section reviewed 17/09/13
section updated 17/09/13
Time trends in bladder cancer incidence rates are difficult to interpret because of different and changing classification/coding practices affecting the definition of invasive carcinoma of the bladder.
The UK Association of Cancer Registries (UKACR) recommended a change in coding practice as of January 2000 whereby some cases previously classified/coded as invasive carcinoma of the bladder (ICD-10 C67) are now coded as carcinoma in situ of the bladder (D09.0) or neoplasms of uncertain or unknown behaviour of the bladder (D41.4).8 This change in coding practice has therefore led to a fall in the number of cases of ‘malignant’ bladder cancer.
Bladder cancer incidence rates have decreased overall in Great Britain since the mid-1970s (Figure 1.2).1-3 Bladder cancer incidence rates in Great Britain rose throughout the 1970s and 1980s and reached a peak of 31 per 100,000 males and 9 per 100,000 females in the early 1990s. Since then, rates have fallen to levels lower than in the mid-1970s (Figure 1.2).1-3 For males, European AS incidence rates decreased by 40% between 1992-1994 (the peak) and 2008-2010. The decline is similar for females, with rates decreasing by 37% between 1991-1993 (the peak) and 2008-2010. There are likely to be several reasons for the recent decline, including the increasing proportion of bladder tumours now being coded as in situ or uncertain.9 However, reductions in smoking and exposure to occupational carcinogens may also have played a role. Some evidence for this is provided by the trend in mortality rates which have also decreased although the change in coding practice was not applied to mortality records.10,11
Figure 1.2: Bladder Cancer (C67), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Great Britain, 1975-2010
Bladder cancer incidence trends for the UK are shown in Figure 1.3.1-4 Over the last decade (between 1999-2001 and 2008-2010), the European AS incidence rates have decreased by 23% and 21% in males and females, respectively.
Figure 1.3: Bladder Cancer (C67), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993-2010
Bladder cancer incidence rates have decreased overall for all of the broad age groups in Great Britain since the early 1990s (Figure 1.4 and Figure 1.5).1-3 The largest decreases since the early 1990s have been in men and women aged between 45 and 54, with European AS incidence rates decreasing by 60% and 58% between 1991-1993 and 2008-2010 in males and females, respectively. In the 85s and over, incidence rates decreased by 24% in males between 1991-1993 and 2008-2010, compared with only 10% in females.
Figure 1.4: Bladder Cancer (C67), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Males, by Age, Great Britain, 1975-2010
Figure 1.5: Bladder Cancer (C67), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Females, by Age, Great Britain, 1975-2010
section reviewed 17/09/13
section updated 17/09/13
Lifetime risk is an estimation of the risk that a newborn child has of being diagnosed with cancer at some point during their life. It is a summary of risk in the population but genetic and lifestyle factors affect the risk of cancer and so the risk for every individual is different.
In 2010, in the UK, the lifetime risk of developing bladder cancer is 1 in 40 for men and 1 in 110 for women.12
The lifetime risk for bladder cancer has been calculated by the Statistical Information Team using the ‘Adjusted for Multiple Primaries’ (AMP) method; this accounts for the possibility that someone can have more than one diagnosis of bladder cancer over the course of their lifetime.13
section reviewed 24/04/13
section updated 24/04/13
An analysis of cancer incidence in the UK and Ireland highlighted considerable differences between cancer registries in the classification of bladder tumours which make the interpretation of any geographical patterns difficult.5 These differences in registration practice will also limit international comparisons.
The 2008 estimated age-standardised bladder cancer incidence rates reported for UK men are well below the EU average (18.5 v 27.4 per 100,000 population respectively) and the rate for women in the UK is slightly lower (5.1 v 5.6 per 100,000 population respectively) as Figure 1.6 shows.14
Figure 1.6: Bladder Cancer (C67), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, EU-27 Countries, 2008 Estimates
Worldwide an estimated 382,660 new cases of bladder cancer occur each year and, in terms of overall cancer frequency, it is ranked sixth.15 Figure 1.7 shows bladder cancer incidence rates worldwide.
Figure 1.7: Bladder Cancer (C67), World Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, World Regions, 2008 Estimates
The highest bladder cancer incidence rates are generally found in industrially developed countries, particularly in North America and Southern and Western Europe, and in areas associated with endemic schistosomiasis16 in Africa and the Middle East.
Marked racial differences have been reported for bladder cancer incidence with higher rates in white than non-white populations. For example, in the USA, rates for white men are double those for black men: in 2000-2003 the age-adjusted incidence rate per 100,000 population was 40.2 for white males compared to 19.8 in black Americans. Bladder risk for US black women is about two-thirds that of US white women.17
These differences may be partly due to genes, as studies have shown that certain genetic polymorphisms linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer (for example, the NAT2 slow acetylator polymorphism) are much more prevalent in white than non-white populations.18
section reviewed 29/06/11
section updated 29/06/11
There is evidence for a small association between bladder cancer incidence and deprivation in the UK.20,23,24 The most recent England-wide data for 2000-2004 show European AS incidence rates are 20% higher for men living in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived, and 35% higher for women.20 It has been estimated that there would have been around 900 fewer bladder cancer cases each year in England during 2000-2004 if all men and women had experienced the same rates as the most affluent.20
A study in Scotland for 2006-2010 showed that the gap in bladder cancer incidence by deprivation is slightly larger, with the most deprived people having 45% higher rates compared with the least deprived.23 A comparable association with deprivation has also been reported for women in Wales, but no significant association has been reported for men in Wales or for Northern Ireland.24,25
These results are not unexpected, as some bladder cancer risk factors - such as smoking – are generally more prevalent in more deprived populations.26
date reviewed 17/09/13
date updated 17/09/13
In a recent study comparing bladder cancer incidence across ethnic groups in England,21 age-standardised rates for the males in the white ethnic group ranged from 19.9 to 20.5 per 100,000 for all ages. Rates for the Asian ethnic group were significantly lower for all ages, ranging from 6.5 to 10.1 per 100,000 and the rates for the black ethnic group were also significantly lower, ranging from 5.6 to 9.6 per 100,000. For females there was a similar pattern- the age-standardised rates for the white ethnic group ranged from 5.7 to 6.0 per 100,000 for all ages, whereas the rates for the Asian and black ethnic groups were significantly lower- 1.3 to 2.7 per 100,000 and 1.6 to 3.7 per 100,000 respectively.
section reviewed 25/05/11
section updated 25/05/11
Prevalence refers to the number of people who have previously received a diagnosis of cancer and who are still alive at a given time point. Some patients will have been cured of their disease and others will not.
In the UK more than 46,500 people were still alive at the end of 2006, up to ten years after being diagnosed with bladder cancer (Table 1.2).22
Table 1.2: Bladder Cancer (C67), One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence, UK, 31st December 2006
|1 Year Prevalence||5 Year Prevalence||10 Year Prevalence|
Worldwide, it is estimated that there were nearly 1.2 million cancer patients still alive in 2008, up to five years after their diagnosis.15
section reviewed 17/05/13
section updated 17/05/13
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- Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, June 2012. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html.
- Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2012. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp.
- Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, April 2012. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=59080.
- Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, October 2012. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/CancerData/OnlineStatistics/.
- Quinn M, Wood H, Cooper N, Rowan S, eds. Cancer Atlas of the United Kingdom and Ireland 1991–2000. Studies on Medical and Population Subjects No. 68. London: ONS; 2005.
- National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). Cancer Incidence and Mortality by Cancer Network, UK, 2005. London: NCIN; 2008.
- National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). Cancer e-Atlas. Accessed April 2013.
- UK Association of Cancer Registries. UKACR Quality and Performance Indicators 2010. (PDF) 312 KB.
- Shah A, Rachet B, Mitry E, et al. Survival from bladder cancer in England and Wales up to 2001. Br J Cancer 2008; 99(S1):S86-9
- Pelucchi C, Bosetti C, Negri E, et al. Mechanisms of disease: The epidemiology of bladder cancer. Nat Clin Pract Urol 2006;3(6):327-40.
- Ferlay, J, Randi G, Bosetti C et al. Declining mortality from bladder cancer in Europe. BJU Int 2008;101(1):11-9
- Lifetime risk was calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK, 2012.
- Sasieni PD, Shelton J, Ormiston-Smith N, et al. What is the lifetime risk of developing cancer?: The effect of adjusting for multiple primaries. Br J Cancer 2011;105(3):460-5.
- European age-standardised rates calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK, 2011 using data from GLOBOCAN, IARC, version 1.2. http://globocan.iarc.fr.
- Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, Forman D, Mathers C, Parkin DM. GLOBOCAN 2008 v1.2, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No.10 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2010. Available from http://globocan.iarc.fr. Accessed May 2011.
- World Health Organisation (WHO). Health Topics: Schistosomiasis. Accessed May 2011.
- Ries LAG, Harkins D, Krapcho M, et al (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2003. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute; 2006.
- García-Closas M, Malats N, Silverman D, et al. NAT2 slow acetylation, GSTM1 null genotype, and risk of bladder cancer: results from the Spanish Bladder Cancer Study and meta-analyses. Lancet 2005;366(9486):649-59.
- Quinn, M., et al., Cancer Trends in England & Wales, 1950-1999, SMPS No. 66. London: Office for National Statistics; 2001.
- National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). Cancer Incidence by Deprivation, England 1995-2004. London: NCIN; 2008.
- National Cancer Intelligence Network and Cancer Research UK. Cancer Incidence and Survival by Major Ethnic Group, England, 2002-2006. London: National Cancer Intelligence Network; 2009.
- National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence by Cancer Network, UK, 2006. London: NCIN; 2010.
- ISD Scotland. Cancer Statistics. Cancer of the Bladder.
- Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit. Cancer in Wales, 1995-2009: A Comprehensive Report. Wales: 2011.
- Donnelly DW, Gavin AT and Comber H. Cancer in Ireland 1994-2004: A comprehensive report. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry/National Cancer Registry, Ireland; 2009.
- Office for National Statistics. General lifestyle survey overview: A report on the 2010 general lifestyle survey. (PDF 1.31MB) 2012.