Bladder Cancer Survival Rates

The 5-year relative survival rates are comparisons between people with the same type and stage of cancer and the general population who do not have cancer. If the 5-year survival rate is, for example, 20%, that means that people who have a specific type of cancer are 20% as likely as healthy people to live for the next 5 years after being diagnosed.

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The American Cancer Society uses the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to provide survival statistics for different types of cancer. SEER tracks 5-year relative survival rates for bladder cancer in the US based on how far the cancer has spread. Unlike the regular stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, etc groupings, SEER classifies cancer according to the following stages:


Localized

No signs of the cancer spreading outside the bladder

Regional

Cancer has spread outside the bladder to nearby lymph nodes and other structures

Distant

Cancer has spread to other organs of the body and distant lymph nodes

The following are the 5-year relative survival rates for bladder cancer based on data from 2013-2019:

In situ alone96%
Localized71%
Regional39%
Distant8%
All SEER stages combined78%

It is important to consider the following when interpreting these numbers:

  • These numbers only apply to the stages when the cancer was first diagnosed, not when the cancer grows, spread, or returns after treatment
  • These numbers do not take into account your overall health, genetics, personal circumstances, and treatment response. Those details can affect your survival and recovery outlook.
  • Treatments have improved over time and people today have a better outlook for recovery than people diagnosed in the past.

If cancer is caught early, you can expect a better survival and recovery rate. There can be a great difference between relative survival rates when the diagnosis is at the localized stage versus the regional and advanced stages.

Bladder cancer can be detected early by using the modern tests and instruments available to doctors. This is critical because the survival rate while it is still in situ vs localized is 25%, while the survival rate for local versus regional stages is 32%. That's a sharp decline in survival chances that could have been avoided if the cancer had been diagnosed properly and detected earlier. According to the World bladder cancer patient coalition, 18% of women have had to visit a GP 5 times before being recommended to a specialist. That’s precious time lost that could have been used for treatment already.

Doctors have a responsibility to provide adequate care and promptly examine all possible options thoroughly with their patients. If not, they could be guilty of medical negligence.

There Are Three Main Types of Negligence

Incorrect Diagnosis

This is when a medical provider diagnoses a cancer patient with a disease other than cancer. This results in a patient not only losing resources for undergoing the wrong treatments but also in a delay in the necessary cancer treatment, which actively worsens the condition.

Delayed Diagnosis

This is when a healthcare provider fails to diagnose cancer in its early stages. It can lead to the patient requiring more intense treatment options, which not only increases the cost but like with the common radiation therapy, subjects the patient to more pain and potential side effects that would have been unnecessary had the cancer been detected earlier.

False Positive Diagnosis

This is when a patient who does not have cancer is improperly diagnosed with cancer. This can lead to a patient undergoing surgery and radiation therapy, both costly and potentially life-threatening treatments, when they didn’t even have the disease to begin with.

If you or a loved one believe your healthcare provider misdiagnosed or delayed your bladder cancer diagnosis, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your pain, discomfort, and decreased chances of survival. Contact us at 833-PORTER9, or e-mail us at info@porterlawteam.com to discuss the details of our experience representing other clients and the results we were able to obtain in the past for clients who also suffered from bladder cancer. In many ways, our results speak for themselves, and we will stand ready to help you and your family in your time of greatest need.

Last Updated on March 1, 2024 by Michael S. Porter
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