Not much is generally known regarding the burden imposed by bladder cancer upon patient health-related quality of life (HRQL). The role of HRQL in affecting patient preferences and utility assessment and, ultimately, the selection of therapeutic regimen, or patient satisfaction with that selection, is considered increasingly important by the medical community. Therefore, the main focus of this evaluation was to review the international medical literature to better understand the impact of bladder cancer on patient HRQL. A search was performed using electronic and manual databases for published articles on HRQL and bladder cancer for the years 1966 onward. Thirty-five references dealing with HRQL were analyzed as part of this review. Of these, 29 were published after 1989. Most studies have identified urinary and sexual HRQL domains as being of greatest concern to patients. However, little is known about the short- and long-term impacts of specific therapeutic options for either superficial bladder cancer (SBC) or invasive bladder cancer (IBC). Increased awareness and use of the HRQL instruments such as the FACT-BL as well as the EORTC-QLQ-BLS24 and the EORTC-QLQ-BLM30 (when they are validated for SBC and IBC, respectively), should increase our understanding of the impact of this disease and its management options on patient HRQL.