Bladder Cancer Survival Rates: How Deadly is the Bladder Cancer?

Neha Mittal   by Neha Mittal, MS, Biotechnology    Last updated on April 20, 2021,

bladder cancer survival rates

What are the chances of survival with bladder cancer?

Survival rates for bladder cancer tell you what percentage of people with the same type and stage of bladder cancer are still alive a certain amount of time (generally 5 years) after the initial diagnosis of the cancer.

Survival rates do not exactly predict how long an individual will live. But these statistics can give an understanding about how likely it is for you to live a certain amount of time after the diagnosis such as five years or two years.

Your doctor will be able to provide better idea about your individual case based the condition such as stage of cancer, your current treatment, and your overall health.

What are 5-year survival rate and relative survival rates for bladder cancer?

The 5-year survival rate is the percentage of people who live at least 5 years after their diagnosis of the bladder cancer. For example, a 5-year survival rate of 80% means that about 80 in 100 people who have the bladder cancer are still alive 5 years after their diagnosis of the cancer. But this does not mean people will live only for five years. Many of these people live much longer than 5 years after the cancer is diagnosed.

Relative survival rate is a better way to understand the survival of bladder or other type of cancer. This number provides a comparison between people who have bladder cancer to people in the overall population.

Survival rates and life expectancy for bladder cancer

The survival rates for bladder cancer are:

  • The 5-year relative survival rate is about 77%
  • The 10-year relative survival rate is about 70%
  • The 15-year relative survival rate is about 65%

Bladder cancer survival rates according to stage of bladder cancer

  • The 5-year relative survival rate for stage 0 bladder cancer is about 98%
  • The 5-year relative survival rate for people who have stage I bladder cancer is about 88%
  • The 5-year relative survival rate for people with stage II bladder cancer is about 63%.
  • The 5-year relative survival rate for stage III bladder cancer is about 46%.
  • Stage IV bladder cancer has a relative 5-year survival rate of about 15%. Bladder cancer that has spread to other parts of the body cannot be treated. However, there are treatment options to relieve the symptoms and help the patient feel better.

What factors govern the survival rate and prognosis of bladder cancer in an individual case?

Survival rates in case of an individual depend on various factors, including:

  • The type of cancer
  • Stage of the bladder cancer at the time of diagnosis
  • Whether the cancer has grown to other organs or parts of the body. If the tumor has not yet spread outside the bladder, the 5-year survival rate is quite good (generally above 70%).
  • If the cancer has spread through the bladder to the surrounding tissue or to nearby lymph nodes or organs, the 5-year survival rate is about 30%.
  • If the cancer has spread to distant organs of the body, the 5-year survival rate is much less – about 5%.
  • The treatment that you are given by your healthcare provider. Not everyone is given the same treatment. Treatment depends on several factors such as your overall condition, stage, other diseases, age etc.
  • Sex: Survival for women is generally found lower according to statistics.
  • Age: According to estimates, the five-year survival rate for bladder cancer has been found higher in people (both men and women) and decreases as the age increases.

It is important to know that these survival rates are only based on certain estimates. They are not accurate numbers and can’t predict what will happen in your case. In order to understand about your specific case as an individual, you should talk to your doctor as he understands your condition and the treatment you are going through to inform you about the life expectancy.

Neha Mittal

Neha Mittal completed graduation in Biotechnology from Graphics Era University, Dehradun and Masters in Biotechnology from Amity University, Noida. In the past, she worked with Sharon Biomedicine Ltd., DUKES Products Ltd., and Forest Research Institute, Dehradun as researcher in biotechnology.


Neha loves singing and dancing in leisure time. She also enjoys traveling and maintains a collection of great novels.

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