What is bladder cancer?
Bladder cancer is a malignant growth of the cells lining the bladder. The normal function of the bladder is to contain urine produced by the kidneys until it is convenient to pass urine. The common type of cancer found in the bladder is transitional cell carcinoma; other rarer types are adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Incidence and Prevalence
Bladder cancer affects 10 000 people a year in the UK and each year about 5000 people die of bladder cancer. It is the fourth most common type of cancer in the UK and its incidence is falling. Men are more commonly affected then women. It usually affects older adults aged 50-80 years. The risk of getting bladder cancer is increased in people who smoke or have worked with chemicals called arylamines (now banned), or who have worked with crude oil, hot metals, in the printing or paint industry.
5 year survival for all stages of disease is between 68% and 80%. This reflects that most people present with treatable superficial disease. Invasive bladder cancer has a much worse 5 year survival with around 40% of people affected still alive after 5 years.
Amended June 2008