Survival Rates for Bladder Cancer

Cancer survival rates are usually discussed in terms of 5-year relative survival, which refers to the proportion of patients still alive five years after diagnosis. Keep in mind that statistics like these are based on large groups of people and cannot predict what might happen with an individual patient.

In addition, most current national data is from patients diagnosed in 2012-2018, which doesn’t reflect the impact of recent treatment advances.

In the United States, the overall 5-year relative survival among people diagnosed with bladder cancer (including all stages of disease) is 77.1%. The National Cancer Institute records survival rates using these very broad categories:

  • In-situ. Among patients whose cancer is found only in the originating layer of cells, 5-year survival is 96%.
  • Localized. In patients with early-stage cancers, that are confined to the primary site, 5-year survival is 69.6%.
  • Regional. For patients with disease that has spread to regional lymph nodes at the time of diagnosis, survival is 39%.
  • Distant disease. Among patients with disease that has spread to distant body areas at the time of diagnosis, survival is 7.7%.

Learn more bladder cancer survival statistics from the National Cancer Institute.

How Roswell Park optimizes your survival

As a national leader in the treatment of bladder cancer, Roswell Park’s approach includes several key components that maximize survival, outcomes and quality of life, including:

  • Preparing you for surgery with the Cystectomy Pathway. This carefully designed program, created by Roswell Park’s experts, is like a personal training regimen that you would follow to run a marathon. Following the pathway helps prepare you for the surgery and its life-changing impact. This means your care will involve several specialists before your surgery, during your inpatient stay, and over the weeks and months after your surgery. This pathway has been shown to improve recovery and decrease complications after surgery.

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  • Quality operations. A key factor in survival is the quality of your bladder cancer surgery, specifically robot-assisted radical cystectomy. This complex operation removes several organs, requires construction of a urinary diversion. Our bladder cancer experts developed a scoring tool, called the Quality Cystectomy Score, that identifies eight specific quality measures while considering patient and disease complexity. This scoring has been associated with improved disease control and overall survival after surgery.

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  • Access to the latest treatment advances. Our status as a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center allows us to offer our patients far more treatment options, including the latest immunotherapies and others in clinical trials, and to provide these newest treatments years before they become available to other cancer care facilities.
Ahmed Aly Hussein Aly, MD, PhD
Our team at Roswell Park provides world class care. This starts with our wonderful nursing staff, pathologists, and physicians. We are committed to our patients, and our multidisciplinary approach leads to well-informed decisions and quality care before, during and after surgery, all backed by evidence generated at Roswell Park. Ahmed Aly Hussein Aly, MD