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Bladder cancer survival statistics

One-, five- and ten-year survival statistics for bladder cancer by age and trends over time are presented here. The ICD code for bladder cancer is ICD-10 C67. Bladder cancer statistics are difficult to interpret because of different and changing classification/coding practices affecting the definition of invasive carcinoma of the bladder. Since the late nineties an increasing proportion of bladder tumours are now being coded as in situ or uncertain.

The statistics on these pages give an overall picture of survival. Unless otherwise stated, the statistics include all adults diagnosed with bladder cancer, at all ages, stages and co-morbidities. The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics. If you are a patient, you will probably find our CancerHelp pages more relevant and useful. 

The latest survival statistics available for bladder cancer in England are 2005-2009 (followed up to 2010). Find out why these are the latest statistics available.

 

One-, five- and ten-year survival

The latest age-standardised relative survival rates for bladder cancer in England during 2005-2009 show that 78.4% of men are expected to survive their disease for at least one year, falling to 58.2% surviving five years or more (Table 3.1).1,2 The survival rates for women are lower, with 68.2% expected to survive for one year or more and 50.2% surviving for at least five years. 

Comparisons across the United Kingdom are difficult because of the changing classification/coding practice referred to above which have been implemented on slightly different time scales in different countries. The data available show, however, Wales had a higher survival than England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, this is likely to be due to the coding differences.3-5

The male survival advantage for bladder cancer is seen in many countries across Europe.6 Men seem to be diagnosed at a slightly earlier stage than women but this does not explain all their survival advantage, as stage-specific survival is also higher in men than women.7,8

Table 3.1: Bladder Cancer (C67), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Relative Survival Rates, Adults (Aged 15-99), England, 2005-2009 and England and Wales 2007 

Relative Survival (%)
1 Year 5 Year 10 Year
Sex 2005-2009 2005-2009 2007*
Male 78.4 58.2 51.5
Female 68.2 50.2 42.4

Download this table XLS (38KB)

*Ten-year survival rates have been predicted for patients diagnosed in 2007 (using the hybrid approach).

A common misconception is to treat five-year survival rates as ‘cure’ rates. However, for bladder cancer survival continues to fall beyond five years after diagnosis (Table 3.1).1,2 The five-year relative survival rates for bladder cancer are roughly in the middle of the 21 most common cancers in England.1

section reviewed 22/06/12
section updated 22/06/12

 

By age

As with nearly all cancers, relative survival for bladder cancer is higher in younger men and women, even after taking account of the higher background mortality in older people. The reasons for this are likely to include a combination of better general health, more effective response to treatment and earlier diagnosis in younger people overall. Differences in underlying tumour biology may also play a part for some cancer sites.

The five-year relative survival rates for bladder cancer in men in England during 2005-2009 ranged from 70.6% in 15-49 year olds to 41.0% in 80-99 year olds (Figure 3.1).1 Relative survival was lower in women for all of the age groups, ranging from 53.0% in 15-49 year olds to 34.1% in 80-99 year olds. 

Figure 3.1: Bladder Cancer (C67), Five-Year Relative Survival Rates by Age, England, 2005-2009

surv_5yr_age_bladder.swf

Download this chart XLS (53KB)

section reviewed 22/06/12
section updated 22/06/12

 

Trends over time

Time trends in bladder cancer survival are difficult to interpret because of different and changing classification/coding practices affecting the definition of invasive carcinoma of the bladder. Relative survival for bladder cancer improved through the seventies, eighties and early nineties. But since the late nineties relative survival has decreased. Some of this decrease is likely to be due to an increasing proportion of bladder tumours now being coded as in situ or uncertain.9

In men, one-year relative survival rates for bladder cancer increased from 66.0% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to 81.7% during 1991-1995 and then down to 78.4% in England during 2005-2009 (Figure 3.2).1,10-12 In women, one-year relative survival rates increased from 59.0% to 73.1% and then down to 68.2% during the same time periods, respectively.

Figure 3.2: Bladder Cancer (C67), Age-Standardised One-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1995, England 1996-2009

surv_1yr_bladder.swf

Download this chart XLS (53KB)

*Survival rates are for England only from 1996 onwards

In men, five-year relative survival rates for bladder cancer increased from 44.0% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to 64.2% during 1991-1995 and then down to 58.2% in England during 2005-2009 (Figure 3.2).1,10-12 In women, five-year relative survival rates increased from 42.0% to 59.0% then down to 50.2% during the same time periods, respectively.

Figure 3.3: Bladder Cancer (C67), Age-Standardised Five-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1995, England 1996-2009


surv_5yr_bladder.swf

Download this chart XLS (53KB)

*Survival rates are for England only from 1996 onwards

Ten-year relative survival rates for men diagnosed with bladder cancer increased from 43.0% in England and Wales during 1971-1975 to 54.9% during 1991-1995 and then down to a predicted 51.5% in 2007 (Figure 3.2).2,12,13 In women, ten-year relative survival rates increased from 38.0% to 52.3% then down to 42.4% during the same time periods, respectively.

Figure 3.4: Bladder Cancer (C67), Age-Standardised Ten-Year Relative Survival Rates, England and Wales 1971-1995 and Predicted 2007, England 1996 to 2000

surv_10yr_bladder.swf

Download this chart XLS (58KB) PPT (137KB) PDF (74KB)

*Survival rates are not age-standardised from 1971-1985
**Ten-year survival rates have been predicted for patients diagnosed in 2007 (using the hybrid approach).

section reviewed 22/06/12
section updated 22/06/12

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References for bladder cancer survival

  1. For data for 2005-2009: Office for National Statistics (ONS). Cancer survival in England: Patients diagnosed 2005-2009 and followed up to 2010. London: ONS; 2011.
  2. For data for 2007: Coleman MP, et al. Research commissioned by Cancer Research UK, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 2010.
  3. Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit (WCISU). Cancer Survival Trends in Wales 1985-2004. Cardiff: WCISU; 2010.
  4. Information Services Division Scotland (ISD Scotland). Cancer Statistics. Cancer of the Bladder. Accessed September 2011.
  5. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR). Cancer Survival Online Statistics. Bladder. Accessed September 2011.
  6. Sant M, Allemani C, Santaquilani M, et al. EUROCARE-4. Survival of cancer patients diagnosed in 1995-1999. Results and commentary. Eur J Cancer 2009;45:931-91.
  7. Ries LAG, Harkins D, Krapcho M, et al. SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2003. Maryland, US: National Cancer Institute; 2006.
  8. Mungan NA, Aben KK, Schoenberg MP, et al. Gender differences in stage-adjusted bladder cancer survival. Urology 2000;55(6):876-80.
  9. Shah A, Rachet B, Mitry E, et al. Survival from bladder cancer in England and Wales up to 2001. Br J Cancer 2008;23;99 Suppl 1:S86-9.
  10. For data for 1971-1990: Coleman MP, Babb P, Damiecki P, et al. Cancer Survival Trends in England and Wales, 1971-1995: Deprivation and NHS Region. Series SMPS No 61. London: ONS; 1999.
  11. For data for 1991-1995: Office for National Statistics (ONS). Cancer Survival: England and Wales, 1991-2001, twenty major cancers by age group. London: ONS; 2005.
  12. For data for 1996-2003: Rachet B, Maringe C, Nur U, et al. Population-based cancer survival trends in England and Wales up to 2007. Age-standardised figures were provided by the author on request. Lancet Oncol. 2009;10:351-69.
  13. Cancer Research UK. CancerStats report. Survival – England and Wales. London: Cancer Research UK; 2004.
Updated: 3 September 2012