Bladder Cancer Incidence and Mortality: A Global Overview and Recent Trends

Eur Urol. 2017 Jan;71(1):96-108. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2016.06.010. Epub 2016 Jun 28.


Context: Bladder cancer has become a common cancer globally, with an estimated 430 000 new cases diagnosed in 2012.

Objective: We examine the most recent global bladder cancer incidence and mortality patterns and trends, the current understanding of the aetiology of the disease, and specific issues that may influence the registration and reporting of bladder cancer.

Evidence acquisition: Global bladder cancer incidence and mortality statistics are based on data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organisation (Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, GLOBOCAN, and the World Health Organisation Mortality).

Evidence synthesis: Bladder cancer ranks as the ninth most frequently-diagnosed cancer worldwide, with the highest incidence rates observed in men in Southern and Western Europe, North America, as well in certain countries in Northern Africa or Western Asia. Incidence rates are consistently lower in women than men, although sex differences varied greatly between countries. Diverging incidence trends were also observed by sex in many countries, with stabilising or declining rates in men but some increasing trends seen for women. Bladder cancer ranks 13th in terms of deaths ranks, with mortality rates decreasing particularly in the most developed countries; the exceptions are countries undergoing rapid economic transition, including in Central and South America, some central, southern, and eastern European countries, and the Baltic countries.

Conclusions: The observed patterns and trends of bladder cancer incidence worldwide appear to reflect the prevalence of tobacco smoking, although infection with Schistosoma haematobium and other risk factors are major causes in selected populations. Differences in coding and registration practices need to be considered when comparing bladder cancer statistics geographically or over time.

Patient summary: The main risk factor for bladder cancer is tobacco smoking. The observed patterns and trends of bladder cancer incidence worldwide appear to reflect the prevalence of tobacco smoking.

Keywords: Bladder; Cancer; Incidence; Mortality; Statistics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Global Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Global Health / trends
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Internationality
  • Male
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / etiology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / mortality