About Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer, one of the most common genitourinary cancers in adults worldwide, occurs mainly in older adults. The average age at the time of diagnosis is 73. Risk factors include a history of smoking, a family history of bladder cancer, or regular exposure to industrial chemicals.

According to the American Cancer Society:

  • Men are three to four times more likely than women to get bladder cancer. About 1 in 26 men and 1 in 90 women will develop this cancer.
  • In 2014, about 74,690 new cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, and about 15,580 U.S. citizens will die from bladder cancer.
  • Nine of 10 people with bladder cancer are over the age of 55.
  • Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men.
  • More than 500,000 people in the United States are bladder cancer survivors.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that approximately $4 billion is spent in the United States each year on bladder cancer treatment.

Need for Research

Bladder cancer is arguably an “invisible” cancer. Despite is prevalence and toll, bladder cancer commands strikingly little public attention and media coverage compared with other cancer types. Funding for bladder cancer research is similarly skewed.

While surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can be used to treat the disease, current treatment protocols are often invasive and newer, “bladder-sparing” treatment techniques require additional improvement before they can be broadly used to benefit patients.


Medical, surgical and radiation oncology experts at Johns Hopkins work together as a team to coordinate care for bladder cancer patients. The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the Brady Urological Institute have extensive websites dedicated to bladder cancer treatment. The Johns Hopkins Health Library has detailed, general information about bladder cancer.