Context: Urothelial bladder cancer (UBC) is a disease of significant morbidity and mortality. It is important to understand the risk factors of this disease.
Objective: To describe the incidence, prevalence, and mortality of UBC and to review and interpret the current evidence on and impact of the related risk factors.
Evidence acquisition: A literature search in English was performed using PubMed. Relevant papers on the epidemiology of UBC were selected.
Evidence synthesis: UBC is the 7th most common cancer worldwide in men and the 17th most common cancer worldwide in women. Approximately 75% of newly diagnosed UBCs are noninvasive. Each year, approximately 110 500 men and 70 000 women are diagnosed with new cases and 38 200 patients in the European Union and 17 000 US patients die from UBC. Smoking is the most common risk factor and accounts for approximately half of all UBCs. Occupational exposure to aromatic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are other important risk factors. The impact of diet and environmental pollution is less evident. Increasing evidence suggests a significant influence of genetic predisposition on incidence.
Conclusions: UBC is a frequently occurring malignancy with a significant impact on public health and will remain so because of the high prevalence of smoking. The importance of primary prevention must be stressed, and smoking cessation programs need to be encouraged and supported.
Copyright © 2012 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.