Bladder Cancer Survival Rate


What is Bladder?

The bladder is a hollow organ in the pelvis with flexible, muscular walls. Its main function is to store urine before it leaves the body. The average adult bladder holds about 2 cups of urine. Urine is made by the kidneys and is then carried to the bladder through tubes called ureters. When you urinate, the muscles in the bladder contract, and urine is forced out of the bladder through a tube called the urethra. In women, the urethra is very short and opens just in front of the vagina. In men, the urethra is longer. It passes through the prostate gland and the penis, and opens at the tip of the penis.
Bladder Cancer

Most bladder cancers start in the urothelium. As the cancer grows into or through the other layers in the bladder, it becomes more advanced. Transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma  is by far the most common type of bladder cancer. More than 9 out of 10 bladder cancers are this type. The cells from transitional cell carcinomas (TCCs) look like the urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder. Bladder cancers are often described based on how far they have invaded into the wall of the bladder:

  • Non-invasive bladder cancers are still in the inner layer of cells (the transitional epithelium) but have not grown into the deeper layers.
  • Invasive cancers grow into the lamina propria or even deeper into the muscle layer. Invasive cancers are more likely to spread and are harder to treat.

Bladder Cancer Survival Rate

Survival Rate 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. Of all those diagnosed with bladder cancer, around 72% live for at least one year after diagnosis. Around 54% live for at least 5 years.  And around 50% live for at least 10 years.

Estimated New Cases in 2014


% of All New Cancer Cases


Estimated Deaths in 2014


% of All Cancer Deaths


Percent Surviving 5 Years (2004-2010)


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