Bladder Cancer Awareness Day - May 7, 2024

Bladder cancer is the most common malignancy in the urinary system and age is a significant risk factor for the development of bladder cancer.

Helpful Highlights

  • Although it represents 5% of all cancers, and is the sixth most common cancer in the U.S., bladder cancer is commonly thought of as the forgotten cancer.

  • Bladder cancer occurs primarily in older adults. The annual number of bladder cancer cases in the U.S. is increasing and the elderly are the largest group at risk.

  • Bladder cancer is most likely to affect white men.

  • There is up to a 90% chance of successful treatment and long-term survival with early detection and intervention.

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The association between aging and cancer is well exemplified by bladder cancer: with advancing age, the risk of developing bladder cancer increases, and clinical presentation and outcomes worsen.

Bladder Cancer Awareness Day aims to foster engagement and drive awareness around speaking to a healthcare professional as soon as possible if your loved one is showing signs and symptoms of bladder cancer, namely blood in their urine.

How can I help?

Watch for signs and symptoms in your loved one that may include blood in the urine (hematuria), frequent urination, painful urination, and back pain.

Blood in the urine may cause it to appear bright red or cola-colored, though sometimes the urine appears normal and blood is only detected on a lab test.

If you notice that your loved one has discolored urine and are concerned it may contain blood, make an appointment with their provider to get it checked, even if you're not sure that it's serious.


Bladder cancer occurs primarily in older adults, with over 75% of new cases detected in patients 65 years and older.

The median age at diagnosis is 73 years, and individuals aged 75–84 years account for the largest percentage of new cases (> 30%).

Approximately 78% of people diagnosed with bladder cancer survive five years or more after diagnosis, though the survival rate sharply decreases with advanced age (85 and older).

5 things you should know about bladder cancer

  1. Blood in the urine is the most common symptom of bladder cancer.

  2. Smoking is the biggest risk factor for bladder cancer.

  3. Bladder cancer is the 9th most common cancer in the world.

  4. Bladder cancer is most common in men, but 1 in 4 cases are in women.

  5. When caught early, bladder cancer is highly treatable.

Bladder cancer (BC) is an age-associated malignancy. Evidence has shown that patients with bladder cancer are diagnosed at a much older age compared with those with other cancers.

Risk factors

Risk factors that may increase your loved one's bladder cancer risk include:

  • Increasing age

  • Being male

  • Being white

  • Smoking

  • Exposure to certain chemicals

  • Chronic bladder inflammation

  • Drinking well water with high levels of arsenic

  • Previous cancer treatment

  • Personal or family history of cancer


American Association of Cancer Research (AACR)

Guancial, E.A., Roussel, B., Bergsma, D.P., Byland, K.C., Sahasrabudhe, D., Messing, E., Mohile, S.G., & Fung, C. (2015). Bladder cancer in the elderly patient: challenges and solutions. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 10, 939-949. DOI

Mayo Clinic

National Cancer Institute. (2024). Cancer stat facts: Bladder cancer. United States Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Database. Link

Stop the Drop game presented by the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition

World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition

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