Fast facts: Bladder cancer across the stages

Bladder cancer is the 6th most commonly occurring cancer in men and the 17th most commonly occurring cancer in women globally.¹

The most common type of bladder cancer is urothelial cancer, also known as transitional cell carcinoma, which accounts for 9 out of 10 bladder cancers.2

Common symptoms include³

Bladder cancer can be categorised as non-muscle invasive, muscle invasive, or metastatic:4

Early diagnosis of bladder cancer is very important as it is associated with a higher survival rate, for both men and women.5

77% of all cases occur in men,1however women are more often diagnosed in the late stages (stages III-IV),5which may be due to common symptoms of bladder cancer being misdiagnosed as urinary tract infections.8,9 Women also have lower 5-year survival rates, compared with men:5

Recent advances have led to new treatment options for people with bladder cancer. However, significant unmet needs remain across all stages.10,11

Earlier diagnosis and new treatment advances may help to improve survival rates, in both men and women with bladder cancer.


  1. Bray et al. Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. Ca Cancer J Clin. 2018;68:394–424. *Calculation based on Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for bladder cancer, percentage of global incidence attributed to diagnosis in men. †Number of new cases of bladder cancer diagnosed and number of deaths associated with bladder cancer taken from reference 1.

  2. Cancer.Net. [Internet; cited 2019 April 5]. Available from: .

  3. Fight bladder cancer. [Internet; cited 2019 April 5]. Available from

  4. Cancer.Net. [Internet; cited 2019 April 5]. Available from:

  5. Dobruch J et al. Gender and Bladder Cancer: A Collaborative Review of Etiology, Biology, and Outcomes. Eur Urol. 2016;69:300-310.

  6. Kaufman DS, Shipley WU, Feldman AS. Bladder cancer. Lancet. 2009;374:239–49.

  7. Rayn K. et al. New therapies in nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer treatment. Indian J Urol. 2018;34(1):11-19.

  8. Richards K.A et al. Urinary tract infection-like symptom is associated with worse bladder cancer outcomes in the Medicare population: Implications for sex disparities. Int J Urol. 2016;23:42-47.

  9. Nicholson, B. D et al. Bladder cancer in women. BMJ. 2014;348:g2171–g2171.

  10. isher et al. Treatment patterns and outcomes in metastatic bladder cancer in community oncology settings. J Clin Oncol. 2017;35, no. 6_suppl:396-396.

  11. Campi et al. Unmet Clinical Needs and Future Perspectives in Non–muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer. Eur Urol Focus. 2018:4:472-480.