Bladder Cancer Survival Rates

A key factor in determining a patient’s survival is the quality of the bladder cancer surgery, specifically robot-assisted radical cystectomy. This complex surgical procedure removes several organs, requires construction of a urinary diversion and can take up to seven hours.

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As a leader in robotic bladder surgery, Roswell Park has developed a quality assurance system based on eight criteria to determine a patient’s Quality Cystectomy Score. The system assigns a number of stars, one to four, based on the number of quality criteria met below:

  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy administered
  • Surgery completed in 6.5 hours or less
  • Limited blood loss (< 500 cc)
  • Surgical margins tested negative (no cancer cells found)
  • Lymph nodes removed total 20 or more
  • No high-grade complications within first 30 days after surgery
  • No readmission to the hospital within first 30 days after surgery
  • No mortality within first 30 days

Patients who achieve a higher score of three to four stars (five to eight criteria met) have better cancer control and live longer. Roswell Park has implemented several measures that aim to achieve the highest possible score for every patient. Roswell Park’s 10-year analysis and development of the quality assurance score was published in the medical journal Urology.

Bladder cancer survival rate

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.

Roswell Park continually monitors, measures and evaluates all our patient outcomes and survival, and we compare our data to national data collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program

AJCC Stage Group Bladder Cancer

Stage at diagnosis for CY 2014-2015

This pie chart illustrates the cancer stage at time of diagnosis of patients with bladder cancer at Roswell Park.1

Five-Year Relative Survival, Bladder Cancer, Stages I-IV

Cases Diagnosed 2006-2013

This graph illustrates the survival rate of patients with bladder cancer at Roswell Park, compared to the survival rates nationwide. Roswell Park patients, at every stage of disease, have better survival rates.2

Relative Survival compares the actual observed survival with the expected survival of persons unaffected by cancer.

Roswell Park 5-Year Relative Survival (2006-2013) for Bladder Cancer
  Source 1 2 3 4 5
N=135 Roswell Park Stage I 96% 94% 89% 89% 89%
N=108 Roswell Park Stage II 81% 70% 66% 66% 66%
N=63 Roswell Park Stage III 83% 73% 65% 61% 61%
N=110 Roswell Park Stage IV 52% 30% 19% 18% 17%

1American Joint Commission on Cancer (AJCC) Stage I-IV Bladder Cancer

2Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program ( SEER*Stat Database: Incidence - SEER 18 Regs Research Data + Hurricane Katrina Impacted Louisiana Cases Nov 2015 Sub (1973-2013 varying) - Linked To County Attributes - Total U.S., 1969-2014 Counties, National Cancer Institute, DCCPS, Surveillance Research Program, Surveillance Systems Branch, released April 2016, based on the November 2015 submission. Accessed February 8, 2017