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Bladder Cancer


Bladder cancer typically occurs in adults age 55 or older. The average age at diagnosis is 73. Men are more likely to develop bladder cancer than women, and the disease is more prevalent in whites than in African Americans or Hispanic Americans.

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2019 the U.S. will see an estimated 80,470 new cases of bladder cancer (about 61,700 in men and 18,770 in women), and the disease will be responsible for about 17,670 deaths (an estimated 12,870 in men and 4,800 in women).

In the U.S. about half of bladder cancers detected each year are non-invasive, or in situ, cancers and about 1 in 3 have spread to deeper cell layers in the bladder wall. In the remaining cases, the cancer most often has spread to tissue near the bladder or lymph nodes outside the bladder. Only about 4 percent of newly diagnosed bladder cases found to be advanced or metastatic diseaese. 

Types of Bladder Cancer

Urothelial Carcinoma is by far the most common type of bladder cancer in the U.S. Also known as transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), this cancer starts in the urothelial cells that line the inside of the bladder. Because these cells also line other areas of the urinary tract, when urothelial carcinoma is detected all of the urinary tract should be checked for tumors.

Other types of bladder cancers are much less common in the U.S. These include squamous cell carcinomas (1% to 2% of U.S. cases), adenocarcinomas (about 1% of U.S. cases), small cell carcinomas (less than 1% of U.S. cases), and sarcomas (extremely rare in U.S.).

Source: American Cancer Society. Key statistics for bladder cancer. 2019; American Cancer Society. What is bladder cancer? 2019.

Featured Programs

Optimizing Outcomes for Urothelial Carcinoma

With the addition of checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy to the treatment armamentarium for advanced bladder cancer, the care landscape for urothelial carcinoma is evolving. Keep the entire multidisciplinary care team up-to-date with information and resources from the ACCC education program on Optimizing Outcomes for Urothelial Carcinoma in the Community Setting. Two options for participation: a live, on-site learning workshop or as an audio-guided web course.
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