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Who Gets Bladder Cancer?

Bladder cancer arises in the urinary bladder, a hollow organ that stores urine. When bladder cells start to multiply uncontrollably, bladder cancer can occur.

How common is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer is a relatively common form of cancer in the United States.1,2

  • Bladder cancer makes up about 4.6 percent of all new cancer cases in the United States
  • Adults living in the United States have around a 2.4 percent chance of being diagnosed with bladder cancer during their lives
  • The five-year overall survival rate for bladder cancer is 77.1 percent

The National Cancer Institute approximates that around 80,470 new cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2019.1

Bladder cancer statistics

Researchers at the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute have found that certain groups of people are more likely to develop bladder cancer than others.1-3

In the United States, the risk of developing bladder cancer increases as you get older:

  • Bladder cancer occurs most commonly in people between the ages of 75 and 84 years old
  • The average age of diagnosis for bladder cancer is 73 years old
  • Around 90 percent of people who have bladder cancer are over 55 years old

Bladder cancer in men vs. women

In the United States, bladder cancer is more common in men than in women. The rates of bladder cancer diagnoses and deaths from bladder cancer have been dropping in women; in men, incidence rates of bladder cancer are dropping but mortality rates have stayed stable.2 Other statistics include:1,3

  • A man’s chance of developing bladder cancer is approximately 4 times higher than a woman’s chance of developing bladder cancer
  • White men are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer than Black men
  • In 2019, approximately 61,700 men will be diagnosed with bladder cancer
  • Approximately 18,700 women will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2019
  • It is the fourth most common cancer in men
  • For women, the chance of developing bladder cancer is about 1 in 88
  • For men, the chance of developing bladder cancer is about 1 in 26

In the United States, bladder cancer is also more common among certain ethnicities than others. Caucasian/White Americans are around twice as likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer as Black Americans or Hispanic/Latino Americans.2

Multiple factors are at play

While these are all accurate statistics, there are multiple factors involved in whether an individual develops bladder cancer. Some risk factors, like age, genetics, or race, are not able to be changed, but others, like smoking cigarettes and chronic dehydration, are. If you’re concerned about your risk factors for developing bladder cancer, talk with your doctor to see how you may be able to reduce your risk.

Written by Anna Nicholson and Jaime Herndon | Last review date: November 2019.
  1. Cancer Stat Facts: Bladder Cancer. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, National Cancer Institute. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/urinb.html n.d. Accessed October 31, 2019.
  2. Key Statistics for Bladder Cancer. American Cancer Society. www.cancer.org/cancer/bladder-cancer/about/key-statistics.html. Last Revised January 30, 2019. Accessed October 31, 2019.
  3. Cancer Facts & Figures 2019. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2019/cancer-facts-and-figures-2019.pdf Published 2019. Accessed October 31, 2019.