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Bladder cancer mortality statistics

Mortality statistics for bladder cancer by country in the UK, age and trends over time are presented here. 

Find out more about the coding and counting of this data.

By country in the UK

Bladder cancer is the 7th most common cause of cancer death in the UK (2012) accounting for 3% of all deaths from cancer.1-3 Bladder cancer is the 6th most common cause of cancer death among men in the UK (2012), accounting for 4% of all male deaths from cancer. Among women in the UK, bladder cancer is the 13th most common cause of cancer death (2012), accounting for 2% of all female cancer deaths. 

In 2012, there were 5,242 deaths from bladder cancer in the UK (Table 2.1): 3,513 (67%) in men and 1,729 (33%) in women, giving a male:female ratio of around 2:1.1-3 The crude mortality rate shows that there are 11 cancer deaths for every 100,000 males in the UK, and 5 for every 100,000 females. 

The European age-standardised mortality rates (AS rates) are significantly higher in Scotland compared with England for females only (Table 2.1).1-3 Otherwise the rates do not differ significantly between the constituent countries of the UK for either sex. 

Table 2.1: Bladder Cancer (C67), Number of Deaths, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Mortality Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2012

England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Male Deaths 2,960 174 303 76 3,513
Crude Rate 11.2 11.5 11.8 8.5 11.2
AS Rate 7.7 6.9 8.3 7.1 7.7
AS Rate - 95% LCL 7.4 5.9 7.4 5.5 7.4
AS Rate - 95% UCL 8.0 7.9 9.3 8.7 7.9
Female Deaths 1,419 90 179 41 1,729
Crude Rate 5.2 5.8 6.5 4.4 5.3
AS Rate 2.7 2.6 3.4 2.6 2.8
AS Rate - 95% LCL 2.6 2.1 2.9 1.8 2.6
AS Rate - 95% UCL 2.9 3.2 3.9 3.4 2.9
Persons Deaths 4,379 264 482 117 5,242
Crude Rate 8.2 8.6 9.1 6.4 8.2
AS Rate 4.8 4.4 5.5 4.6 4.8
AS Rate - 95% LCL 4.7 3.9 5.0 3.7 4.7
AS Rate - 95% UCL 5.0 4.9 6.0 5.4 5.0

Download this table XLS (34KB) PPT (165KB) PDF (39KB)

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits around the AS Rate

Analysis of bladder cancer mortality rates throughout the UK shows some variation between health boundaries for both males and females, with higher rates in the Midlands in England and in parts of Scotland.4,5

section reviewed 08/09/14
section updated 08/09/14


By age

Bladder cancer mortality is strongly related to age, with the highest mortality rates being in older men and women. In the UK between 2010 and 2012, an average of 68% of bladder cancer deaths were in men and women aged 75 years and over, and almost a third (31%) were in those aged 85 years and over (Table 2.1).1-3 

Age-specific mortality rates rise steeply from around age 60-64, with the highest rates in the 85+ age group in both sexes. Mortality rates are higher for males than for females and this gap is widest in those aged 85 and over, when the male:female mortality ratio of age-specific rates (to account for different proportions of males to females in each age group) is more than 3:1 (Figure 2.1).1-3 

Figure 2.1: Bladder Cancer (C67), Average Number of Deaths per Year and Age-Specific Mortality Rates, UK, 2010-2012


Download this chart XLS (56KB) PPT (137KB) PDF (75KB)

section reviewed 08/09/14
section updated 08/09/14


Trends over time

Bladder cancer mortality rates have decreased overall in the UK since the early 1970s (Figure 2.2).1-3 For males, European AS mortality rates remained relatively stable between 1971-1973 and 1991-1993, and then decreased by 36% between 1991-1993 and 2010-2012. The decline is smaller for females, with rates increasing by 8% between 1971-1973 and 1988-1990, and then decreasing by 25% between 1988-1990 and 2010-2012. Over the last decade (between 2001-2003 and 2010-2012), the European AS mortality rates have decreased by 15% and 11% in males and females, respectively. These trends are likely to reflect the patterns of smoking prevalence in men and women over the last 40 years. 

Figure 2.2: Bladder Cancer (C67), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, UK, 1971-2012


Download this chart XLS (54KB) PPT (131KB) PDF (48KB)

Bladder cancer mortality rates have decreased overall for all the broad age groups in the UK since the early 1970s, except the 85+ age group in which mortality rates have increased (Figure 2.3).1-3 The largest decrease has been in people aged 45-54, with European AS mortality rates decreasing by 61% between 1971-1973 and 2010-2012. Mortality rates for people aged 85+ have increased by 42% between 1971-1973 and 2010-2012 although rates have been stable since the late 1980s. Lower mortality decreases in the older age groups may be explained in part by lower rates of aggressive treatment for high risk disease amongst the elderly.6,7

Figure 2.3: Bladder Cancer (C67), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, by Age, Persons, UK, 1971-2012


Download this chart XLS (57KB) PPT (134KB) PDF (44KB)

section reviewed 08/09/14
section updated 08/09/14

In Europe and worldwide

Bladder cancers is the 9th most common cause of cancer death in Europe, with around 52,400 deaths from bladder cancer in 2012 (3% of the total). In Europe (2012) the highest World age-standardised rates for bladder cancer are in Latvia for men and Malta for women; the lowest rates are in Germany for men and Ukraine for women. UK bladder cancer mortality rates are estimated to be the 10th lowest in males in Europe, and 8th highest in females.8 These data are broadly in live in Europe-specific data available elsewhere.9

Bladder cancer is the 13th most common cause of cancer death worldwide, with around 165,100 deaths from bladder cancer in 2012 (2% of the total). Bladder cancer mortality rates are highest in Western Asia, and lowest in Central America, but this partly reflects varying data quality worldwide.8

Use our interactive map to explore the data for bladder cancer.

section reviewed 27/05/14
section updated 27/05/14

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References for bladder cancer mortality

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, January 2014. Similar data can be found here:
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, March 2014. Similar data can be found here:
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2014. Similar data can be found here:
  4. NCIN. Cancer Incidence and Mortality by Cancer Network, UK, 2005. London: NCIN; 2008.
  5. NCIN. Cancer e-Atlas. European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, UK (England: former Primary Care Trusts; Wales; Scotland: NHS Health Boards; Northern Ireland: Health and Social Care Trusts), 2009-2011.
  6. Noon AP, Albertsen PC, Thomas F, et al. Competing mortality in patients diagnosed with bladder cancer: evidence of undertreatment in the elderly and female patients. Br J Cancer (2013) 108, 1534–1540. doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.106
  7. Dal Moro F, Rossi A, Zattoni F. Does age really matter in the choice of treatment for bladder cancer? Br J Cancer (2013) 108, 2415–2416. doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.239
  8. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from:, accessed December 2013.
  9. Ferlay J, Steliarova-Foucher E, Lortet-Tieulent J, et al.Cancer incidence and mortality patterns in Europe: Estimates for 40 countries in 2012. European Journal of Cancer (2013) 49, 1374-1403.
Updated: 8 September 2014