Bladder cancer is more common in men than women and it affects older adults over the age of 40 in 99 percent of the reported cases. In men it is the fourth most prevalent cancer. It is the tenth reported cancer among women. Most bladder cancer is superficial meaning the cancer has only affected the lining of the bladder and not spread to other areas. This occurs in 75 percent of the cases and the bladder cancer prognosis for five years is better than 90 percent according to the Mayo Clinic.
Bladder cancer prognosis is determined by the type of cancer cells, stage of the disease, age and health of the patient.
The National Cancer Institute lists five stages of the disease starting with Stage Oa and Ois that are pre-cancerous tumors that grow on the lining of the bladder.
Stage I involves cancerous tumors that have grown under the lining of the bladder.
Stage II reveals cancer tumors that have invaded the bladder muscle.
Stage III is the invasion of the surrounding fatty tissue and possible organs of the reproduction system such as the uterus, vagina, prostate, and seminal vesicles.
Stage IV is when the cancer has metastasized to the abdomen and other organs of the body.
Intravesical chemotherapy delivers the drugs directly to the bladder. It treats transitional cancer, chronic relapses and high grade tumors that have invaded the lining of the bladder.
Surgery is used to remove cancerous tumors when it appears that non-invasion has taken place of surrounding areas. Vesical chemotherapy is used post surgery and has proven to reduce the rate of recurrence from 30 to 50 percent of long term disease control. Research continues to develop new drugs that will have a greater affect on the progression of the disease.
Radical surgery, transurethral resection, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunology are all treatments used for the various stages of bladder cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute SEER, stage O survival is greater than 10 years.
Stage 1 survival for men is 10 years and 2 years for women
Stage 2 survival is 1.9 years for men and 1.25 years for women
Stage 3 survival for men is 1.4 years and for women it is 1.11 years
Stage 4 survival for men is 4.8 months and women it is 5.3 months
Survival for men beyond stage 4 is 7.3 months and 6.6 months for women.
These statistics are an average. Types of cancer such as squamous cell and adenocarcinoma can affect the bladder cancer prognosis for each individual.
Early treatment of the disease extends the 5 year survival rate by 94 percent. The spread of cancer to other pelvic organs reduces the 5 year survival rate to 49 percent. Spread to other organs outside of the pelvic area reduces the 5 year survival to 6 percent.
It is important to treat bladder cancer as early as possible. Symptoms that appear that can indicate bladder cancer include blood in the urine, pain the abdomen or back, and frequent and painful urination. See your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
You can also discuss the risks of acquiring the disease with your doctor such as smoking, over 40 years of age, white men, exposure to carcinogens mostly in the work place, previous cancer treatment with Cytoxin, and a family history of bladder cancer.
Advanced cancer patients may need different treatment plans. The Mayo Clinic and John Hopkins University Hospital encourage participation in clinical trials. There is always a chance that new methods can prolong the survival rate. Today’s successful treatments began with clinical trials.
SEER: Cancer of the Urinary Bladder - https://seer.cancer.gov/publications/survival/surv_bladder.pdf
National Cancer Institute: General Information About Bladder Cancer - https://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/bladder/Patient
My Biopsy: Transitional Cell Carcinoma - https://www.cap.org/apps/docs/reference/myBiopsy/transitional_cell_carcinoma.html
Mayo Clinic Department of Urology: Bladder Cancer - https://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/urology/bladder_cancer.cfm
John Hopkins Medicine James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute: Bladder Cancer - https://urology.jhu.edu/bladder/bladder_cancer_drugs.php